Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Evaluation

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year following a chronological reading plan- Currently on track
  • Memorize a verse a week (for full disclosure I am starting with verses that I have previously memorized but have lost full memory of)- Not really doing this, but working on verses with my kids and believe this is where I need to focus my Scripture memory right now
  • Spend 30 minutes daily concentrated on prayer and Bible reading- Did not really do this. 
  • Continue to record daily blessings to cultivate thankfulness (Goal is 10,000 things)- Still doing this you can see this months blessings hereherehere, and here 
  • Praying throughout the day for specified things (still developing lists and plan for this)- This did not really happen either. August is a new month
  • Read a book a month apart from SWI matrerial- I read The Key and finished reading Let the Nations Be Glad.  
  • Journal 5 days a week- No
  • Write (working on books) 5 days a week- No, but working on incorportating this
  • Finish my first fiction book- Still seriously behind where I hoped to be at this point- This may not happen not this year either
  • Write 3 blog posts a week- Yes!
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Finally met in July. Great time of encouragement
  • Have one day a month for personal retreat time to pray, read the Bible and write- Um, no
  • Complete Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Russian- Plugging away
  • Begin working on a Christ-centered prenatal/delivery/postnatal education- God has opened so many doors for this! Putting together a class for my church and hoping to do in September and working on a book to go along with it later
  • Go on a date once a month- Yes!
  • Go on one overnight trip away- Done in May
  • Read together for 30 minutes once a week- Um, No 
  • Discuss and plan the week to come on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Take each child on a "date" once a month- This did happen without planning! God's grace alone
  • Spend individual time with each child at home once a week (at least 20 minutes)- Still working on this. Some weeks were better than others
  • Work on memorizing Psalm 23 with Jamey and Lillian- Yes! Both have it memorized as well as Psalm 67 with most of Proverbs 31:10-31 and Psalm 1.
  • Finish current Pre-K curriculum with Jamey and Lillian- We are done for the year! Time to start planning for next year
  • Continue going to playgroup on Tuesdays- Yes
  • (I need to develop more educational goals, so I guess a goal for this year will be learning to do this for next year)
  • Begin a garden planting at least tomatoes (hoping to do more)- We have lettuce which we have eaten, and currently have plants growing for tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers, green beans and maybe peppers (we're unsure due to labeling confusion)
  • Try 1 new recipe a month- We tried 3 or 4 new ones this month! Fun times
  • Keep up with cleaning calendar- Not much
  • Develop general cleaning schedule- Working on tweaking the calendar I have to get everything but fits our lifestyle
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week- I have been managing some form of exercise a couple days a week
  • Lose 30 lbs- Down 3 lbs from my plateau!
  • Continue hosting Women's prayer once a month- Yes, still praying for more people to pray
  • Email workers once a month- Yes!
  • Send 2 encouraging notes a month- No, still hoping to catch up and improve in this area
July was a fun month. We made connections with people, went on vacation and saw God moving in many ways. It was definitely a blessed month in so many respects and I look forward to charging into August with gusto (though I am dragging today :) ).

How was your July?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper

I really enjoyed this book, though I seriously need to go back and read it again. It is full of encouragement and challenges. Personally I was convicted many times as I read it as to how much I have glorified mission for the sake of mission over the worship and glory of God. God has been teaching me a lot about living a life of worship and reading this book along with my chronological Bible readings has really helped me in seeing how much I need to focus on God. We must be fully satisfied in Him and mission comes as an outflow of worshiping the God who satisfies our every need. I hope the next time I read it I will be able to write about each part and what it teaches me as there is too much to put in a review. Read it! I think all Followers of Christ should read it. It is for everyone, not only those who seek to live and work in another country.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 22 to 28

3881. Sleeping until 7 am with little interruption
3882. Jamey playing quietly by himself until we got up
3883. Getting 3 1/2 days of reading done
3884. Lillian sleeping until 9:30
3885. Good grocery shopping time
3886. Doing well at the grocery store
3887. Not buying any sweets
3888. Cleaning out leftovers from the fridge for lunch
3889. Laughs around the table
3890. All 4 kids napping
3891. Time to read
3892. Getting emails sent
3893. Quiet time
3894. Making a general list of bigger things that need to be done before school starts
3895. Great fun at dinner
3896. Jamey saying Psalm 1
3897. Jamey helping Becca say Psalm 1
3898. Reading our current family book in the living room
3899. Time for a family movie
3900. Smooth bedtime after naps!
3901. Chilling with Jim
3902. Waking up
3903. Jim making eggs for breakfast
3904. Working towards switching our meals around
3905. Jamey and Lillian asking if we were doing school
3906. Getting several chapters read in my Bible
3907. Walking to playgroup
3908. Gabriel sitting up in the stroller
3909. Gabriel crawling around and interacting at playgroup
3910. Having a fun crowd at playgroup
3911. Jamey, Lillian and Charlotte all playing together
3912. Reuben playing with Jude
3913. Reuben going up in the playset
3914. The laughs and playful screams of children
3915. Encouraging conversation
3916. Eating lunch at home
3917. Kids all eating lunch well
3918. All kids napping again!
3919. Running errands with Jim
3920. Reading regularly in Redeeming Childbirth
3921. Getting emails read
3922. Really yummy dinner
3923. Gabriel wanting to feed himself
3924. Gabriel eating everything we give him (as long as he can feed himself)
3925. Nice family time before CG
3926. Girls Night with CG
3927. Coffee at Quills
3928. Open honest conversation
3929. Being able to share
3930. Opportunities to encourage
3931. More opportunities to give grace
3932. Learning to be more OK with the grey
3933. Fun laughs
3934. Teaching a friend a different way home
3935. God's unique plan for each person
3936. Sleep
3937. Sleeping until 7 am again
3938. Jim getting up with the kids
3939. Mental wrestling
3940. Doing summer "book work" with Jamey
3941. Jamey's gusto for learning
3942. Work books to help me see where the kids are
3943. Jamey wanting to do (and doing) book work for 3 hours and finishing a whole book
3944. Reuben showing interest in the toilet
3945. Wonderful April/May like weather
3946. Becca volunteering to mow the lawn
3947. Reuben playing outside
3948. Jim getting a lot of stuff cut down in our yard
3949. Jamey and Lillian learning about yard work
3950. Getting to do a couple surveys
3951. Swagbuck swag code day
3952. Hearing from Dawn
3953. Scheduling a time to Skype
3954. More reading time
3955. Getting caught up on my Bible reading plan
3956. Having access to God's Word
3957. Having access to God
3958. God teaching me all of the time in all things
3959. God breaking my pride little by little
3960. Growing in my desire to learn
3961. Being able to admit I don't know everything
3962. Learning to repent
3963. Learning how to ask for help
3964. Really yummy black bean burgers
3965. Theological discussions
3966. God inviting us to wrestle with Him
3967. Nice rest time
3968. Pancakes for dinner
3969. Kids playing Wii fit
3970. Kids growing in sharing and playing together
3971. Reuben really loving on Gabriel
3972. Gabriel wanting to stand up
3973. Gabriel wanting to be part of everything we are doing
3974. Jamey and Lillian playing well together throughout the day
3945. Lillian wanting to mother (and teaching her to tailor it)
3946. Smooth bedtime
3947. Watching "Wheel" and "Jeopardy"
3948. Calm evening
3949. Opening the windows
3950. Not needing the A/C most of the day
3951. Sleeping until 8 am!
3952. Jamey and Lillian playing quietly together in the living room this morning without waking the rest of the house
3953. Really good breakfast
3954. Learning to eat different things for breakfast
3955. Another lovely "spring" morning in July
3956. Kids playing outside
3957. Trying to jump rope with the kids
3958. Jamey bragging on Reuben
3959. Jim getting completely done with his Hermeneutics class!
3960. Kids playing well together
3961. Gabriel exploring everything
3962. Jamey eating all of his lunch
3963. Gabriel eating peas
3964. Gabriel wanting to eat real food
3965. Doing book work with Jamey and Lillian
3966. Reading to Jamey and Lillian
3967. Finishing The Key
3968. Nice quiet rest time
3969. Reading my Bible
3970. Writing in my journal
3971. Emailing Joanna
3972. Reconciliation
3973. God weeding out sin in our lives
3974. God using all things for our good
3975. Feeling a weight lifted off my shoulders
3976. Jesus dying so we can be reconciled and have sin weeded out of our lives
3977. Making dinner with Jim
3978. Trying a new recipe
3979. Finding out how easy it is to grate zucchini
3980. A lower calorie breakfast casserole
3981. Great dinner conversation
3982. Having an in depth conversation with Jamey about God and Jesus
3983. Movie night and ice cream for less than $2
3984. Watching the first part of The Hobbit movie again
3985. Great morning
3986. Good breakfast (loving switching things up)
3987. Getting out of the house early for playgroup
3988. Gabriel being able to stay with Jim
3989. A great playground in Indiana
3990. Fun playgroup
3991. Meeting Laura
3992. Meeting Shelly and her kids
3993. Great uplifting conversation
3994. Hearing from a Sister with 7 kids
3995. Opportunity to connect with a Sister desiring to be a nurse
3996. God is amazing!
3997. Kids playing well for over 2 hours
3998. Jamey playing with other kids
3999. Just connecting in every day life
4000. Getting home well
4001. Jim playing with Jamey and Lillian
4002. Teaching opportunities in a difficult rest time
4003. Time to read while waiting for dinner to finish
4004. Trying another new recipe
4005. Hearing God's Word coming out of my kids' mouths
4006. Nice evening
4007. Smooth bed time
4008. Chilling with Becca
4009. Getting to sleep at a decent hour
4010. Getting good sleep even with kids waking up in the night
4011. Jamey and Lillian lying on the sofa with me
4012. Feeling rested
4013. Yummy breakfast
4014. Kids playing outside in the rain
4015. Kids playing well together
4016. Opportunities to teach
4017. Quiet time to read my Bible
4018. Gabriel taking a good nap in the swing
4019. Having a Mama and Lillian date to the store
4020. Getting good deal on contact solution
4021. Doing well at the grocery store
4022. Lillian asking lots of questions
4023. Seeing Lillian grow up
4024. Lillian's laughter and love of life
4025. Teaching opportunities for life skills
4026. Easy lunch
4027. My kids loving fruit
4028. Early rest time
4029. Getting emails sent
4030. Reconciliation
4031. Nice rest time
4032. More teaching
4033. Getting a good Groupon to go on a double date
4034. Getting out of the house in a timely manner
4035. Not having any trouble finding our Friends' house
4036. Celebrating Charis's birthday
4037. Really yummy homemade Latin food
4038. Really good homemade cupcakes
4039. Meeting lots of new people
4040. Meeting Barb who is a postpartum nurse at Suburban and excited about Childbirth class
4041. Meeting several Sisters who want to contribute to childbirth book
4042. Kids playing well with others at the party
4043. Meeting more Sisters who want to pray for the nations
4044. Gabriel playing
4045. God ordaining all things
4046. Seeing God's hand at work in every day life
4047. Nice ride home
4048. Smooth bed time
4049. All kids going to sleep quickly
4050. Time to connect with people online
4051. Getting to write
4052. Learning Sojourn is for childbirth class
4053. Catching up Goodreads
4054. Blogging
4055. Nice quiet and productive evening
4056. Great morning
4057. Hearty breakfast
4058. Reuben sleeping late
4059. Gabriel sleeping 12 hours without an extra feeding
4060. Getting ready to go in a timely fashion
4061. Beautiful cool weather
4062. Walking to church
4063. Talking to Heather
4064. Finding out another family is going over seas
4065. A wonderful message on Mercy
4066. Praising God through song
4067. Seeing Katie
4068. Connecting with the family going overseas
4069. Seeing God's hand at work throughout the day
4070. Seeing Sarah
4071. Seeing Emily
4072. My kids loving to go to church
4073. Seeing Barb
4074. Fun lunch
4075. Kids playing outside together
4076. Time to read
4077. Time to write in a journal
4078. Jim getting a good nap
4079. Kids having a good rest time
4080. Meal planning
4081. Some Jamey parent time
4082. Playing a game together
4083. Cleaning out leftovers from the fridge
4084. Lots of laughs at dinner
4085. Reuben and Lillian taking good naps
4086. Playing a dance game together
4087. Lillian doing really well with the dance game
4088. Jamey doing well with Wii fit
4089. Fun family time
4090. Teaching moments while playing
4091. Relatively smooth bedtime
4092. Working on August calendar
4093. Playing a game with Jim
4094. Making a cleaning plan for the week
4095. Feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the day
4096. Learning to see things through new lenses
4097. God teaching me constantly
4098. Learning to be more attune to the Holy Spirit
4099. Making dinner plans to meet Jonathan
4100. God's perfect timing

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Key

I remember wanting to read this when a friend of mine had it 8 years ago. She gave me a copy as a gift but it has taken me this long to read it. I was so disappointed by this book! Overall I thought this book was terrible and a poor excuse for a "Christian" novella. The plot was weak and terribly predictable. I put Christian in quotation marks as there is very little evidence of this. The thoughts are real, but little hope or anything worthwhile in them. I would call most of it quite cliche. The redeeming factors are the "conflict" that did make me laugh and dealing with forgiveness, but even the forgiveness is done weakly. The end was also weak and just as predictable. I would not waste your time on this book.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sometimes Gray is OK

I'm a very black and white person by nature. I want everything to be clear cut as either right or wrong, good or bad. It's easy as a "religious" person to label things as such that really are not. There are things God clearly says are right and wrong in the Bible. But the more I live and study God's Word, the more I see how many things are NOT there. There is nothing in the Bible about what job you should have, where you should live, how you should school your kids, how and where you should give birth, what specifically is modest, what TV shows and movies you should watch, what books are OK to read and I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

In the last few days I have been hit with several things that are quite subjective and it has really been a battle for me. I want to say it should be this way or it must be that, but they are things that you just cannot say that about. And I have to be OK with that! It's not my job to dictate what should be and every body has a different life. God directs life so that it will bring Him glory and that is all that matters. This is helpful to realize and remember as you seek what God would have you do and as you seek to help others discern where God is calling them.

So today's question: Are your decisions based on following God and bringing Him glory?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Grieving What You Don't Know

(Warning: What I'm about to write may sound a bit selfish, but it's what I'm wrestling with right now.)

A week ago Dr. Cutrer suddenly died from heart failure during his morning bike ride. Jim and I were signed up to take a class with his wife and him in the fall. I did not know him well. I had seen him in the seminary clinic once where I remember us discussing Labor and Delivery and Writing. I also took a seminar during seminar Saturday with him and his wife. I was really looking forward to sitting under more of their teaching. All of this just makes me wonder why him and why now. There was more work for him to do. There were many couples signed up for their class. I learned tonight that he taught a Sunday School class and they were about to begin Revelation. Sister Lora had talked with him about the childbirth class I am working on and told me tonight that he was getting material together for me!

As I reflect on these things I wonder why I am so broken over his death. I think I am grieving what could have been. I'm grieving what was to come. Now I will never know what he might have taught Jim and me in his class. I will never know how much knowledge he could have imparted to me from his countless years as an OBGYN. I will never know how he could have helped spread the word of what I'm seeking to do. There is a lot I will never know, but it's not usually so blatantly obvious.

I know there is a purpose in his death. God decided it was time to take him home. I really wish I understood it better right now. One day it will make sense.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 15 to 21

3661. Getting to sleep extra on the sofa after Gabriel waking me up at 5:30
3662. Jamey helping Gabriel after he got up at 6
3663. Getting the kids ready to go and be on time for VBS
3664. Reuben/Mama date
3665. Great deal on Revlon nail polish
3666. Doing really well at the grocery store after forgetting my list
3667. Not giving into sweet temptation
3668. Meeting people in line
3669. Reuben having fun at the store
3670. Jim finishing all his videos
3671. Quick run to get what I forgot
3672. Running into Ann while picking up our kids
3673. Catching up with Beth while waiting to pick up the kids
3674. Being able to help someone get to the church
3675. Lillian taking a nap
3676. Getting a decent amount read in Redeeming Childbirth
3677. Exercising!
3678. Having a Wii
3679. Getting my heart rate up on Wii Fit (this can be difficult to do)
3680. Really tasty black bean burgers and sweet potato fries
3681. Being married to a great cook! :)
3682. Reading more in The Horse and His Boy (really liking this story)
3683. Except for Wii fit the TV being off until time for Wheel
3684. Lillian being old enough to attend VBS this year
3685. Teaching sharing and taking turns
3686. Smooth bedtime shifts
3687. Learning more about my kids every day
3688. Reading some of Faithmapping
3689. Falling asleep early
3690. Kids learning about worship
3691. Sleeping a little later this morning
3692. Walking the kids to VBS
3693. Seeing Karey
3694. Getting to talk with Dana a little bit and get to know her better
3695. Reuben playing in the grass
3696. Getting some more one on one time with Reuben
3697. Gabriel scooting and getting so close to crawling
3698. Meeting Jill
3699. Seeing Beth
3700. Kids learning about serving
3701. Seeing Christine
3702. Meeting Sarah
3703. More confirmation and encouragement
3704. Getting back on My Fitness Pal
3705. Learning to love being outside even in the heat
3706. Learning to love exercise
3707. Learning what 1500 calories really looks like
3708. Planning out food and exercise for the day
3709. All kids taking an afternoon nap!
3710. Catching up with Bethany
3711. Emailing Dawn
3712. Spending some one on one time with Gabriel
3713. Gabriel's contagious laugh and smile
3714. Gabriel's hugs
3715. Gabriel falling over then turning to me with a huge grin and laugh
3716. Talking to Jim
3717. Jim emailing Jonathan
3718. 3 Years in Louisville!
3719. Fun snack time with Reuben
3720. Reuben playing outside
3721. Getting back to water aerobics
3722. Talking about God's sovereignty
3723. Hearing stories about God's provision and goodness
3724. Sharing a little of our story
3725. Picking up trash on Camp St.
3726. Seeing other Sojourners
3727. Ice cream sandwiches
3728. Fun conversation
3729. Learning more about each other
3730. Funny stories
3731. Spiritual warfare
3732. Getting out of bed
3733. Walking the kids to church again
3734. Seeing many Sisters
3735. God's protection while driving and not getting in a crash
3736. Seeing Nora Allison at Quills
3737. Meeting Chandi Plummer
3738. Sharing my vision with Nora and Chandi for childbirth education
3739. Spending time talking to Shannon about childbirth
3740. God growing me in educating others
3741. Learning to express a well rounded view with facts and experience
3742. Trying a new coffee (this is not something I normally do)
3743. Really good yogurt and granola
3744. Having plenty of time to talk about things
3745. Jim and Reuben having a great morning together
3746. Becca being able to bring the kids home
3747. Gabriel's giggle fits
3748. Good rest time
3749. Lillian napping
3750. Encouragement from unexpected places
3751. Great dinner time
3752. Listening to Jamey sing Scripture
3753. Family movie
3754. Talking to and praying with Jim
3755. Dancing with Lillian
3756. Walking to church with all 4 kids
3757. Meeting Christin and her kids
3758. Being able to help her find her phone
3759. Christin wanting to come to church with us
3760. Seeing Jill
3761. Meeting Julie
3762. Being present in the neighborhood
3763. God blessing my efforts
3764. Running to Target
3765. Seeing Heidi at Target
3766. Building more relationships
3767. Finding out Christine has another resource for me to look at in developing childbirth education
3768. Great lunch time
3769. Getting my bellsouth email caught up
3770. Spending the afternoon talking with Rebekah
3771. Hearing her story and sharing mine
3772. Praying with Rebekah
3773. Jim and Jamey getting some good one on one time
3774. Pancakes and chocolate syrup for dinner
3775. Trying a different reading routine
3776. Not turning on the TV until wheel
3777. Always learning how to teach our kids
3778. Smooth bed time
3779. CSI: NY on Netflix!!!!!
3780. Getting up in the morning (it was very tough this AM)
3781. Walking the kids to VBS
3782. Talking to Erin
3783. Getting a ride home (I was really struggling)
3784. Finding out Erin's family listens to Adventures in Odyssey!
3785. Being able to show Erin the Sonlight material
3786. Jim getting more school work done
3787. Watching the kids sing songs they learned at VBS this week
3788. Lillian dancing to the music
3789. Seeing many people
3790. Chinese for lunch
3791. Taking a nap
3792. Kids staying in their beds
3793. Breakfast casserole for dinner
3794. Getting Jamey in bed
3795. Walking to Four Pegs for farewell party
3796. Talking to Shannon
3797. Talking to Heidi
3798. Learning to love walking
3799. Expressing some of my fears
3800. Admitting lack of faith and learning to ask for more
3801. Kids going down well for Becca
3801. God bringing people together at the right time
3802. God's personal love for people
3803. Reading more in Let the Nations Be Glad (so need to read it again)
3804. Seeing Joanna
3805. Walking a lot throughout the week
3806. Beginning to really appreciate walking
3807. Being able to get up again (another long night)
3808. Not losing my temper this morning
3809. Leaving a little early
3810. Time to read my Bible
3811. Getting 2 days worth of reading read
3812. Realizing I need to long for Jesus more than what He does for me
3813. Yummy breakfast sandwich and coffee at Panera
3814. Writing Group!
3815. Sharing and Praying
3816. Reading our work and helping each other grow in writing
3817. Great time of fellowship and work
3818. Gabriel and Reuben napping well
3819. Jamey and Lillian playing outside well together
3820. Getting some important emails written
3821. Getting emails read
3822. Finding out about a project to publish a lot of old resources!
3823. Having a little time to read more Redeeming Childbirth
3824. Getting to read a little of The Horse and His Boy as a family
3825. Counting calories 4 days this week and doing well
3826. Working on getting pictures uploaded
3827. Having more than one computer in our house
3828. Encouraging blog posts
3829. Getting blog posts written
3830. Dancing with Lillian
3831. Sharing popcorn with the kids
3832. Reuben feeding me popcorn
3833. Jamey's hugs and snuggles
3834. Watching the kids play together
3835. Wrestling boys
3836. Thinking about having a library of 1000 great books
3837. Gabriel beginning to crawl
3838. Watching my kids grow and learn
3839. Realizing I need to be more intentional in teaching my kids how to converse
3840. Getting a card written
3841. Really smooth bed time
3842. Watching The King's Speech with Becca
3843. Enjoying a new movie
3844. Multi-tasking on getting a few things done that did not need full attention
3845. Having Lean Cuisines on hand (yay for sales)
3846. Reading some of The Key a novella I have intended to read for years
3847. Desiring to read more (now just need the discipline to do it)
3848. God moving in my heart all the time
3849. Good time of prayer
3850. Holy Spirit led prayer
3851. Getting up (yet another rough night)
3852. Relatively smooth morning
3853. Jim getting home
3854. Walking to church
3855. Listening to the band practice before church
3856. Sitting with Chris and Bethany
3857. Seeing Melanie
3858. Learning about God's wisdom
3859. Being reminded that God's wisdom seems backward to human thinking
3860. Learning new songs
3861. Taking a nap
3862. All the kids sleeping a little
3863. Getting everyone ready for our evening with naps
3864. Going to Erin's farewell party
3865. Seeing Janet and meeting Patrick
3866. Talking to Lora and Angela
3867. Talking about childbirth and educational needs
3868. More encouragement
3869. Sharing with Sisters who are having similar thoughts and struggles
3870. Meeting Sameh
3871. Seeing Erin
3872. Kids playing well
3873. Seeing lots of friends
3874. Graeter's ice cream
3875. Mediterranean food
3876. Not having to figure out dinner
3877. Relatively smooth bed time
3878. Getting meal planning done (I need an easier system)
3879. Hearing from Dawn
3880. God's grace

Friday, July 19, 2013

Reflections on a Week of Mornings with Two Less Kids

This week Jamey and Lillian went to VBS from 9-12 each morning. Today I have been thinking about it a lot. Having done homeschool the last 2 years, they have been with me in the morning the majority of the time. I was able to spend time with Reuben, which was great for us, as well as do a few other things that God had ordained for me to do, but it was still like something was missing. Not that I made a wrong decision, God clearly meant for this week to happen as it did. He is at work. But not having Jamey and Lillian in toe for these experiences was odd. I realized that as much as I think I want large amounts of time to myself everyday, I really don't. I want to be with my kids, talking to them, playing with them, teaching them as much as I can. I want to know them. That is the primary thing I have learned. I really want to know my kids. I am struggling to do this even with them home most of the time. I have so much to learn about knowing them. I pray that God will teach me how to be attune to them and who they are. I pray He will give me continued vision of who He has created them to be and how to train them in His ways while being themselves. I cannot do that if I don't know them. I must carve out more individual time with each of them. So much to grow in. It never stops.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 Years in Louisville

 It's been 3 years since we said farewell to Smyrna and hello to Louisville. So much has changed since then. We came with a basic 5 year plan to do seminary and get on the field ASAP. We are 3 years in and still at least 3 years out from getting to the field, at times doubting if we will ever make it.
We came up here a family of 4: Jim, Emmie, Jamey and Lillian. Today we are a family of 6, adding Reuben and Gabriel in the 2 following years. Last year we also added Becca to our home, which has been a blessing in so many ways.
We came to a 3 bed 2 bath apartment in Village Manor. I had no intention of leaving this apartment until we were leaving for good. I had no desire to own a house. God had other ideas. Just over a year ago He led us to purchase a home here in the neighborhood our church is in to be an active part in it. So today we own a home in Germantown and are learning how be salt and light in our community.

We came with a desire to learn and grow. I cannot even begin to tell you how much we have learned. Part of keeping this blog is to share some of what we have learned, but what I have written does not even scratch the surface. And we have grown. We have grown in Christ and grown in our understanding of the Gospel. We have grown closer to God and closer to each other. We have also learned that it is an up and down roller coaster even at the best of times, but that's part of the journey. We have learned theology, relationships, Bible, more about prayer and life. We have grown in our understanding of God, but in some ways have many more questions. That's part of the journey too.

We came to Sojourn and learned a different way of doing church. We have learned band music and community groups. We have learned elder board and "grass roots" ministries.
We have grown in our love for the work around the world. Our hearts have been burdened more for others to love and support the work as well as to go. We have met so many who share this love as well as this burden. That has been such a blessing. We have had the opportunity to share with the nations at our door and learn more about where they are.
We have begun to homeschool, something I would not have dreamed of doing when we first talked about a family nor starting my kids this young, but have come to love teaching my kids at home. They, too, love to learn and beg to do school daily. We are blessed to have children that challenge us.
Our life looks quite a bit different than we originally thought it would this far into our seminary journey, but that's the beauty of God and His sovereignty. We see Him at work all around us as well as in us and in our home. We have learned so much about God's amazing grace and see His grace imprinted all over our lives. As we seek to bring our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, there is no where else I would rather be since we are clearly where God has led us to be.
May the next 3 (or 10) years in Louisville exponentially increase what we have learned here and bring us to a deeper understanding and knowledge of our great God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 8 to 14

3446. Getting a great start to the week
3447. Having lists made to prep for the week
3448. Not having school (though the kids wanted to have school)
3449. Having a short grocery list
3450. Getting laundry started in a timely manner
3451. Kids helping clean
3452. Eating leftover mamaliga
3453. Getting almost everything packed throughout the day
3454. Becca, Rachel, Daddy, Mom, Brendon and Kylee getting here safely
3455. The excitement of cousins seeing each other
3456. Cleaning out a lot of leftovers
3457. Jamey eating a lot at dinner (this rarely happens)
3458. Laughter
3459. Kids playing outside
3460. Relatively smooth bed time
3461. Getting up and going early
3462. Everybody packed, in the car and leaving the house before 8 am
3463. Yummy breakfast at Wendy's
3464. Reuben eating a lot at breakfast
3465. Really good oatmeal bars for $.99
3466. Sweet Tea
3467. Jim buying iced coffee
3468. Kids doing fairly well in the car
3469. Listening to Casting Crowns
3470. Good conversation
3471. Getting to the Creation Museum in a timely manner
3472. The excitement of the kids in finally getting to the museum
3473. Learning more about dragon lore
3474. Watching the kids explore and ask questions
3475. Teaching all of the kids about Creation vs Science
3476. Teaching Bible and history
3477. The wonder of children
3478. Being reminded of the truths of Scripture
3479. Teaching Truth to the kids
3480. Jamey and Lillian doing a puzzle together
3481. Lillian "helping" Jamey to look at one of the exibits
3482. Lillian and Kylee talking
3483. Really good turkey and cheese sandwich
3484. Jamey and Brendon talking
3495. All of my kids eating well at lunch
3496. Explaining the global flood
3497. Family bathrooms
3498. All of the interesting resources available through the Creation Museum
3499. Feeling like a normal person with 4 kids
3500. Being surrounded by many other large families
3501. Great hotel to stay in
3502. Subway for dinner
3503. Mt. Dew
3504. Space
3505. Watching the kids play peek-a-boo with the curtains
3506. The energy of kids at 6 pm
3507. Swimming in an outdoor pool
3508. Reuben getting more daring in the water
3509. Lillian getting off the stairs for a minute
3510. Meeting new people in the pool
3511. Cool water
3512. Relaxing evening in the room
3513. Kids doing well sleeping in a hotel bed
3514. Watching Full House ! (Nostalgia moment :) )
3515. Graeter's ice cream
3516. Full breakfast at the hotel
3517. Biscuits and Gravy! (the best tasting breakfast food)
3518. Learning about possible stricter abortion laws!
3519. Getting ready, packed and out of the hotel before 10 am
3520. Fun pictures
3521. Nice walk through the gardens
3522. The kids exploring the petting zoo
3523. Reuben actually touching some of the animals
3524. Watching the peacock
3525. Making observations in nature
3526. Taking pictures in the Japanese garden
3527. The cousins eating lunch together
3528. Gabriel doing really well throughout both days
3529. Meeting Becky
3530. Discussing the blessing of children
3531. Talking about head coverings
3532. Talking about the joys of home school
3533. Family conversation
3534. Looking around the book store
3535. Meeting Sarah- an Amish woman from Illinois
3536. Hearing Sarah talk about her culture
3537. Sarah telling us Amish is her lifestyle not her Savior!
3538. Meeting Sarah's family of 11 children
3539. Sarah's patience with us as we asked her about her lifestyle
3540. Sarah asking me about my head covering
3541. Meeting Rachel and her family
3542. Getting fun family pictures
3543. Getting back on the road at a good time
3544. Rain
3545. McAlister's Deli
3546. A really good salad
3547. Reuben eating ALL of his dinner
3548. Fun evening
3549. Brendon playing with our neighbor
3550. Jamey learning to put together small gliders
3551. Fun times for all the kids
3552. Smooth bed time
3553. Getting pictures traded
3554. Talking with Jim
3555. Getting to bed at a decent hour
3556. Gabriel sleeping until 6:30!
3557. Getting a little extra sleep
3558. Eggs for breakfast
3559. Playing a game with Jim
3560. Working on uploading pictures
3561. All the cousins playing together one last time before Brendon and Kylee had to leave
3562. Taking Reuben our with just Daddy and Mama
3563. Super yummy burgers with a groupon
3564. Reuben eating all of his hot dog
3565. Being given the opportunity to speak Truth into people's lives
3566. Jamey declaring he does not want to sin anymore!
3567. Seeing God at work in Jamey's life
3568. Running into Brittany and Alexander at Target
3569. More encouragement
3570. Getting a movie for family movie night
3571. Nice Rest time
3572. Starting a book for fun (though so far not very impressed)
3573. Getting all pictures uploaded to one of my photo sites
3574. Getting pictures uploaded on Facebook
3575. Family movie night watching Despicable Me
3576. Kids enjoying a new movie
3577. Sitting with Lillian and Reuben
3578. Lillian saying "I'm your daughter" to tell us she needed to sit with us
3579. Working on my blessings
3580. Seeing God's blessings throughout the week
3581. Learning more about the spiritual needs around the world
3582. Just taking a break
3583. Learning to relax
3584. Giving the house a "Sabbath"
3585. Waking up even though exhausted
3586. Having a more relaxed morning
3587. Getting ready for playgroup early
3588. Finding the park with little problem
3589. Lots of space for the kids to run and play
3590. Jamey loving the "merry-go-round"
3591. Jamey getting back on the "merry-go-round" after falling off
3592. Lillian exploring
3593. Reuben playing in the splash park
3594. All of the kids eating all of their lunch!
3595. Gabriel getting in the water for a few minutes
3596. A really fun morning
3597. Taking a nap
3598. Jim getting a decent nap
3599. Dancing with Lillian
3600. Finding other ways to get exercise (need to find creative ways to get this in with the kids)
3601. Shrimp, green beans and mac & cheese for dinner (for some reason this was especially yummy to me tonight :) )
3602. Listening to the kids say Psalms
3603. Lillian begging to say Proverbs 31
3604. Relaxing evening
3605. Getting blog posts written
3606. Sleeping until almost 7:30!
3607. Jamey playing quietly so everyone else could sleep until almost 7:30
3608. Getting a card written
3609. Attending a Mother Blessing
3610. Meeting new Sisters
3611. Great conversation
3612. Yummy brunch food
3613. Taking pictures
3614. Praying over Shannon
3615. Making plans to discuss childbirth!
3616. Finding out Lisa had her baby boy
3617. Restful afternoon
3618. Finishing vacation mode
3619. Getting caught up on email in a timely manner
3620. Encouraging blogs
3621. Learning to not compare myself to others
3622. Seeking how to arrange my days
3623. Jim sleeping well
3624. Jamey and Lillian doing fairly well without a nap
3625. Great dinner and reading time
3626. Starting The Horse and His Boy
3627. Quick bath time
3628. Early bed time
3629. Smooth bed time
3630. Lazy and relaxing evening
3631. All sleeping a little later (after the 4 am invasion)
3632. Jim getting to sleep quickly after getting home
3633. Reading 3 days worth of my chronological Bible reading plan (I'm catching up)
3634. Kids playing well this morning
3635. Getting to church at a good time
3636. Sitting with Cory and Courtney
3637. Church picnic!
3638. Fun at Shelby Park
3639. Kids eating well
3640. Kids playing well
3641. Reuben loving the water ground
3642. Lillian playing with Katherine
3643. Jamey playing with Isabella
3644. Meeting new people
3645. Catching up with people I have not seen in a while
3646. Being outside
3647. Collapsing!
3648. Kids doing fairly well without naps all day
3649. Fun conversations at dinner
3650. Funny kids
3651. Jamey reading everything he sees
3652. Kids playing
3653. Smooth bed time
3654. Finding a couple of good deals
3655. Meal planning with Jim
3656. Being reminded that God is sovereign over all things
3657. Learning more and more everyday how to relinquish control
3658. Knowing that I can trust God with everything
3659. Being blown away by the complexities of God and His nature
3660. God's patience and graciousness with me

Friday, July 12, 2013

Learning from the Peacock

While at the Creation Museum petting zoo, the peacock displayed his beautiful feathers and did quite an extensive dance for the peahen. He was strutting his stuff and showing off in full force. As we watched this show I said something to the effect of, "If you want to know what men should do, watch the peacock."

To which, my hubby says, "They should show off their tail feathers?"

Though I do not want any guys showing their literal tails to women, I do think they should show their colors and be the pursuer.

To win the peahen, the peacock must show he is worthy to be chosen. The spread of the feathers, the bright colors and the strutting dance are all part of presenting himself to the female. It is elaborate and clearly a lot of work.

If only men had to work as hard today to win a woman. I know there are some who make men work, but many do not. In fact, the women's movement has made it so it is now socially acceptable for women to chase men. How sad this is.

Men were created to hunt, pursue, women to be pursued. We see it all over nature. I wonder how different our society would be if we still followed God's intended design. What would it look like if we really waited and made men show their colors? What would it look like if women made men work for their attention? The peahen was making the peacock work with little attention or sign that she would respond. While we were there we saw nothing that she would even let him near her, but he still worked. She did not make it easy.

So ladies, I encourage you to make men work for your attention. Men, be willing to work and do not give into someone who gives themselves too easily. Lets get relationships back to being about hard work and commitment, showing what true love really is.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Still Love the Creation Museum

This is our third year going to the Creation Museum as a family. The highlight was the whole family going except for Kyle and Brit. It was so fun having Brendon and Kylee with us. Our kids loved spending time with their cousins while also exploring and learning at the museum. It was such a blessing having 4 of the 6 kids really looking and asking questions. We were able to teach the Bible, science, culture and share the Truth of Christ with children and they ate it all up!

This year we did not attend any of the lectures, but as we walked through the museum I was reminded of how beautifully the Bible and science mesh if you believe that the Bible is Truth. The joy in all of this is being able to tell my children and see them making the connections. The boys love the dinosaurs and being able to explain them Biblically is such a relief to me.

This year they had an exhibit on dragons and dragon lore, which was really neat to see. I honestly wish they had had more about them as I have always loved dragon lore and the Fantasy genre of books that have dragons in them. But what they had was so interesting. They showed the differences in what we call dinosaurs and how the dragon legends came from dinosaurs. I did not get to read everything, but what I saw was so intriguing.

This year the petting zoo was a lot more enjoyable as everyone but Lillian wanted to experience the animals in some form or fashion. They were all talking about the animals. It was fun seeing Brendon picking up the chickens. Reuben tried to pick up one by the head! We also saw a peacock strutting his stuff. (More thoughts to come on this.) We also enjoyed the gardens on the ground. It was so fun exploring with young eyes who see wonder where we have become dull.

Another highlight was meeting new people from all different walks. We met a Southern Baptist family of 5 from Missouri, a Baptist family of 7 and counting from D.C., a Mennonite family of 4 from Pennsylvania and an Amish family of 13 from Illinois. It was great talking to all these people from different places and different cultures to learn from and share life with even for just a moment. God brings people together at different times for different purposes. God is so good.

I still highly recommend the museum to everyone no matter what you personally believe. It is an experience you will not forget and you will learn something. Check out their website for more information and ticket information. And let us know if you will be in the area. :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 1 to 7

3231. Being able to get out of bed this morning with very little sleep
3232. Reuben sleeping until 9
3233. Getting errands run even with a late start
3234. Mostly uneventful errand time
3235. Getting groceries for the week for under $100! (Huge accomplishment for us)
3236. Good deals at CVS
3237. Listening to Jamey sing
3238. The energy of little boys
3239. Subway
3240. Free cookies!
3241. Nice lunch at home
3242. 4 days of school left
3243. Jamey desiring to keep going in school instead of taking a break
3244. Having kids who desire to learn all the time
3245. God's goodness
3246. Getting a 45 minute nap
3247. Catching a few minutes to read
3248. Not having much to clean up in the afternoon
3249. Reuben being much happier after nap
3250. Reuben squatting to admire the vegetables of our garden
3251. Talking about the rain with Jamey and Reuben as it started to fall
3252. Lillian taking a nice long nap
3253. Successfully making a Romanian dish!
3254. The kids doing really well waiting to eat until 6:30
3255. Having Nate and Karey over for dinner
3256. Having friends that love kids
3257. Discovering our hearts are in similar places
3258. A possible team forming for Eastern Europe!
3259. God's timing
3260. God being so good and sovereign over all things!
3261. Waking early
3262. Time to read and pray
3263. Being able to catch up on reading
3264. Good school morning
3265. Getting everything done for the day in the morning
3266. Making it to playgroup by myself with all the kids
3267. Great time at playgroup
3268. Reuben and Adam eating together
3269. The kids making their own "splash park" with the water fountain
3270. Seeing Caroline, Luke and Hadley
3271. Finding out Erin is going to make it to her last women's prayer before moving
3272. Kids eating their lunch at the park
3273. Jamey creating a tree house
3274. Jamey and Lillian playing with other kids
3275. Kids exploring the world
3276. Engaging conversation
3277. Playing a game with Jim
3278. Gabriel becoming more interactive
3279. Finally getting back to water aerobics
3280. Catching up with several women
3281. Lauren being able to come watch the kids
3282. Community Group
3283. Getting plans for more summer activity together
3284. Talking about God's love for us
3285. Sharing what God is doing in us
3286. Girl time
3287. Being able to share openly with each other
3288. Being able to encourage each other in the Word
3289. Helping each other delve in
3290. Praying for each other
3291. Laughing with Lauren about "Say Yes to the Dress"
3292. Finding another person who dislikes strapless dresses as much as I do
3293. Jim letting me sleep until after 8:30
3294. Extended time to pray
3295. Jim doing school with the kids
3296. Taking my time reading the Bible
3297. Playing with the kids
3298. Super yummy lunch of boneless ribs and green beans
3299. Jamey doing well with his language arts lesson
3300. 2 days left of school!
3301. Getting some cleaning done
3302. Getting lots of laundry done
3303. Doing a decent amount of Russian practice
3304. Skyping with Amy! (So great to see and talk to her!)
3305. Great pasta and sauce
3306. Wonderful family worship time
3307. Gabriel trying to crawl
3308. Family movie night (doing more of these with all the rain)
3309. God watering our garden for us
3310. Plants growing a lot!
3311. Smooth bed time
3312. Getting some extra reading done
3313. God's goodness
3314. God's sovereignty
3315. Being reminded that the rain is a blessing
3316. God knowing exactly what we need
3317. Having a personal God
3318. Washing my hair
3319. Having hot water
3320. Jim doing school
3321. Only 1 school day left!
3322. Time to pray
3323. More Russian
3324. Reuben's extra long hugs
3325. Jamey and Lillian making Gabriel laugh and not annoying him
3326. All of the kids building
3327. Imaginations growing
3328. Heat packs
3329. Quiche for lunch
3330. Naps
3331. Playing Wii fit as a family
3332. Being more disciplined at discipline and not letting things slide
3333. Kids responding better
3334. Having a God who knows our weaknesses but loves and guides us
3335. Getting things ready for women's prayer
3336. Free Pizza!
3337. Papa John's
3338. Finishing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with the kids!
3339. Watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with the kids
3340. Smooth bed time
3341. Watching Jeopardy
3342. Movie night
3343. Snuggling with Jim
3344. Waking early
3345. Being honest with the Lord
3346. My kids seeing my weakness
3347. Opportunities to teach them brokenness and repentance
3348. God being able to meld my heart
3349. Satan being threatened by us
3350. Knowing God hears our every word
3351. Finishing school!!!!!!!!!! (So ready for vacation next week)
3352. Jamey doing well tracing my copy work
3353. Getting the house cleaned
3354. God working in all things
3355. 4 Sisters coming to women's prayer this morning! (3 for the first time)
3356. Having 10 children running around while we prayed
3357. Learning to empathize with Brothers and Sisters in other places
3358. Teaching our kids about praying
3359. Realizing that taking a little longer than we scheduled is ok when teaching our kids
3360. Praying!
3361. Having the privilege of interceding for our Brothers and Sister around the world
3362. Cookies
3363. Crackers, turkey and cheese
3364. Erin being able to make it to her last women's prayer meeting before moving
3365. The Fisher's being able to stay for lunch
3366. Lots of learning opportunities for the kids
3367. Kids playing together
3368. Talking missions and church
3369. Finding out more about Bethany and how similar we are
3370. Having Sisters that understand
3371. Talking Homeschool curriculum
3372. Being able to show people things and help them learn
3373. Being able to learn from others
3374. Being an "older" and a "younger" woman
3375. Encouragement
3376. Jamey and Reuben loving on Gabriel
3377. Getting some writing done
3378. Journaling!
3379. Cleaning out email
3380. Spending some one-on-one time with Reuben
3381. Lillian becoming a little mama
3382. Chick-fil-A!
3383. Fullness of life
3384. Gabriel eating a LOT today
3385. Learning more about who our kids are and what they need
3386. Feeling
3387. Fairly smooth bedtime
3388. Movies
3389. Writing blog posts
3390. Getting caught up on email
3391. Gabriel feeding himself puffs
3392. Doing Goodreads updates
3393. Being able to message Jim at work
3394. Sleep
3395. Gabriel sleeping 11 hours straight
3396. Waking to the sound of laughter from the kids room
3397. Watching Jamey and Reuben wrestle and play together
3398. All 3 boys playing and making each other laugh
3399. Being in official vacation mode for the next week
3400. Teaching my kids about pajama days (they were totally confused by this)
3401. Chilling inside all day with little incidence
3402. Jim getting sleep today
3403. Reading to Lillian
3404. Reuben becoming much more interested in books
3405. Life opportunities to teach children
3406. Having rest time on the sofa with Jamey and Lillian
3407. Gabriel eating a lot
3408. Gabriel playing with his siblings more
3409. Lillian caring for her brothers
3410. Learning about my own selfishness as I watch my kids
3411. Being reminded of how little I give my heart to God
3412. God's mercy
3413. Jesus dying for me
3414. God giving me more understanding of Himself
3415. Playing a game
3416. Getting more disciplined even in vacation mode
3417. Learning how to get things done in a restful way
3418. Listening to Lillian sing Warrior
3419. Getting a little more sleep
3420. Snuggling with Lillian
3421. Getting ready for church in a timely manner with only 2 of us and Jim working
3422. Seeing Melanie
3423. Seeing Rachel
3424. Learning about God's holiness
3425. Hearing from Pastor Mike S
3426. Learning some new songs
3427. Learning more about older customs
3428. Seeing the Daugherty family
3429. Seeing Celenia
3430. Coffee
3431. Walking
3432. Hearing a child's interpretation of their Sunday School Lesson
3433. Seeing Karey
3434. Decent rest time
3435. Using my new pens on my calendar
3436. Colorful calendar pages
3437. Getting the week planned to the best of my ability
3438. Kids getting to play outside without rain
3439. Eating leftover pizza
3440. Family movie night
3441. Cookies
3442. Wii Boxing
3443. Super smooth bed time
3444. Listening to Reuben talk himself to sleep
3445. Red marks on Gabriel's knees from getting on all 4s

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Not With My Whole Heart

"He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with his whole heart." 2 Chronicles 25:2

This verse is about King Amaziah, but it could also be about me. So often I do what is right because I know that it's right, but not with my whole heart. It is, more or less, lip service out of duty, but not out of love for my God who has saved me. 

God demands our whole heart, but so frequently we don't even give Him even a tenth. We are fallen beings who have turned our backs on God, and yet He has given His Son to save us. I am so thankful that Jesus has saved me and given me a new heart so that I might hope to give my whole heart to God. One day He will have it all without defect, sin or stain. But in the meantime I seek His grace so that I can give my best to Him and seek to do what is right in the sight of the Lord with my whole heart. 

How much of your heart does God have? Do you seek to do what is right in the sight of the Lord?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Blessed Chaos

Today we had 5 Sisters and 10 children at women's prayer! Becca is currently out of town so there were no "extra hands" to help out. It was very chaotic. But it was beautifully blessed. Children are a blessing from the Lord, a heritage. It is our job to teach and train them in the ways of the Lord. One way we can do that is by praying with them present. Hopefully we are doing this daily, but it is different when they see us praying with others in the Body. It is the Body in action doing what it is created to do. Yes, we were running back and forth taking advantage of other teachable moments, breaking up fights and dealing with obedience issues, but their moms were praying together for God's work around the world. Right now they probably do not understand the significance of what they are seeing, but I know that it will effect them for the rest of their lives and hopefully for eternity.

It was also a blessing to learn to empathize with Brothers and Sisters around the world who always have their children with them when they gather to pray and worship together. We are blessed to have classes for our kids while we worship most of the time. But today I was blessed to have my kids playing with others while we were praying for our workers.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Um... I Forgot Independence Day

Until I picked up pizza at Papa John's around 4 pm, it did not register it was our nations Independence Day. For most bloggers here would be some great thing about the 4th and celebrating it. Or saying some profound insight or moving statement about freedom. But not me. I just forgot.

And even now I don't really have anything to say. I should, but honestly I don't think about it. Why? Mostly I'm a bit of an extremist. See I am not a patriot. I don't think the USA is the only country there is and I do not want to turn this day into a type of worship of our country and so I just tend to ignore it. I know this is not the best attitude or mindset, but it is where I am now.

See, I am learning moderation and how to healthily balance things. Independence day is important because we live in a free nation (for now) where we can choose where we live, what religion we will follow, what job we will pursue, and say what we think. It is important to remember where we came from. But that's typically not what is done with this holiday. So perhaps this next year I will learn how to celebrate our freedoms in a way that is healthy and balanced without turning our country into a god that it is not. I am still a work in progress. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

June Evaluation

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year following a chronological reading plan- Finally got caught up and I'm back on track
  • Memorize a verse a week (for full disclosure I am starting with verses that I have previously memorized but have lost full memory of)- I'm behind on this one right now, but we are doing a lot more Scripture memory with the kids and hopefully will be learning more that way
  • Spend 30 minutes daily concentrated on prayer and Bible reading- Getting there again. I was able to do this most days
  • Continue to record daily blessings to cultivate thankfulness (Goal is 10,000 things)- Still doing this you can see this months blessings herehereherehere and here
  • Praying throughout the day for specified things (still developing lists and plan for this)- Some days are better than others, still struggling with this
  • Read a book a month apart from SWI matrerial- Still working on Redeeming Childbirth but did not actually complete another book. I am working on a couple other books too
  • Journal 5 days a week- Still lacking in this, need to make a plan for journaling 
  • Write (working on books) 5 days a week- Done some work, but not as often as I would like. Still working on getting this into the daily routine
  • Finish my first fiction book- Still seriously behind where I hoped to be at this point
  • Write 3 blog posts a week- Almost averaged this. Hoping to do better in July
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- We tried twice but were unable to meet. Here's to meeting in July
  • Have one day a month for personal retreat time to pray, read the Bible and write- Um, no
  • Complete Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Russian- Plugging away
  • Begin working on a Christ-centered prenatal/delivery/postnatal education- Yes! I have gone through the surveys, began writing a book to accompany the class (should write a post on this), and have reached out to a few people for help in areas I am not as knowledgeable in
  • Go on a date once a month- Yes!
  • Go on one overnight trip away- Done in May
  • Read together for 30 minutes once a week- Um, No 
  • Discuss and plan the week to come on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Take each child on a "date" once a month- This did not happen, no reason excpet failure to plan
  • Spend individual time with each child at home once a week (at least 20 minutes)- Still working on this. Some weeks were better than others
  • Work on memorizing Psalm 23 with Jamey and Lillian- Yes! Both have it memorized as well as Psalm 67 with most of Proverbs 31:10-31 and are now working on Psalm 1
  • Finish current Pre-K curriculum with Jamey and Lillian- This is our last week in the Pre-K curriculum! So ready for a little break (though I know the kids are not)
  • Continue going to playgroup on Tuesdays- Yes
  • (I need to develop more educational goals, so I guess a goal for this year will be learning to do this for next year)
  • Begin a garden planting at least tomatoes (hoping to do more)- We have lettuce which we have eaten, and currently have plants growing for tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers, green beans and maybe peppers (we're unsure due to labeling confusion)
  • Try 1 new recipe a month- I got to try several new recipes with Noemi and will be making one by myself tomorrow night
  • Keep up with cleaning calendar- About half the month
  • Develop general cleaning schedule- Have an idea, but still nothing official
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week- This month got a little lazy, but have done some Wii Fit with the fam
  • Lose 30 lbs- Still fluctuating, but back down to what I was on a good day
  • Continue hosting Women's prayer once a month- Yes, still praying for more people to pray
  • Email workers once a month- Yes!
  • Send 2 encouraging notes a month- No, still hoping to catch up and improve in this area
June was a month full of lots of things. Primarily it involved school and visits from family and friends as well as practicing keeping a routine. Still have so much to learn, but our family is making it one day at a time.

What was your June like?