Thursday, October 31, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness

I have wanted to do one of the 30 day challenges since I started reading about others doing it. Until now, I really have not known what to do and have not been in a great place to accomplish such a challenge. After seeing my dear Sister Ashley's 31 Days of Blessed Chaos I realized how much this is about thankfulness and that is what God is really pushing in my heart right now; how to be grateful for all things. So I will be doing 30 days of Thankfulness in November. I'm excited about where this may take me, and it may even go over 30 days (I realize how much I have to be thankful for). I will continue my Sunday lists for my everyday blessings, but am looking forward to highlighting things God has brought to my mind. So join me this month as we prepare for Thanksgiving and share what you are thankful for.

October Evaluation

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year following a chronological reading plan- I'm off by a lot, by God's grace I will finish by the end of the year.
  • 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- I managed this a couple days a week, but not as often as I was wanting 
  • 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 happen this month, sadly
  • Read a book a month apart from SWI matrerial- Not this month
  • Journal 5 days a week- No
  • Write (working on books) 5 days a week- No
  • Finish my first fiction book- Still seriously behind where I hoped to be at this point- but I am planning to do novel november and hoping I will finish (by God's grace)
  • Write 3 blog posts a week- I got about 2 a week. That was success for October
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! Last Saturday was so encouraging
  • Have one day a month for personal retreat time to pray, read the Bible and write- Yes (Thank you God for SWI requirement to be able to do this)
  • Complete Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Russian- Hoping to get back into this, we are forgetting to much of what we have learned and I really want to learn another language now
  • Begin working on a Christ-centered prenatal/delivery/postnatal education- Had my first class in September and starting to plan for the next as well as a book and blog
  • Go on a date once a month- Yes! We have actually had a few!
  • Go on one overnight trip away- Done in May
  • Read together for 30 minutes once a week- Not this month
  • Discuss and plan the week to come on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Take each child on a "date" once a month- Right now it's the grocery store, but yes
  • Spend individual time with each child at home once a week (at least 20 minutes)- Sometimes
  • 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. We are now working on verse with the school curriculum
  • Finish current Pre-K curriculum with Jamey and Lillian- Plugging away with K curriculum
  • 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)- Our garden is coming to an end as it has gotten cooler. God blessed us with more than I expected
  • Try 1 new recipe a month- We tried 1 or 2 this month
  • Keep up with cleaning calendar- No
  • Develop general cleaning schedule- Did not work on this
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week- I've gotten back to water aerobics once a week
  • Lose 30 lbs- This is on hold until May
  • 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
October was also a blur. The first full week of October was Fall break, which was refreshing, but not long enough. I am very much looking forward to our 2 month winter break. This is just a busy semester, but God has been faithful to us in the midst of it.

How was October for you?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 21 to 27

6636. Sleeping well until almost 8 am
6637. Being able to get up so Jim could get a little more sleep
6638. Talking to my kids
6639. Jamey and Lillian excited about the day
6640. Jamey telling me that it's Lillian's turn to go to the grocery store with Daddy and being happy for her!
6641. Reuben using words to tell us what he wants
6642. Gabriel sleeping until 8:30
6643. The kids excited to start school
6644. Jamey and Lillian discussing our verse and Bible story
6645. Jamey and Lillian discussing the Truth of God's Word
6646. Reuben singing with us as well as signing
6647. Talking with Jamey about what God wants for our family may be different than what he wants
6648. Seeing my kids grow in knowledge and understanding
6649. Learning about St. Patrick
6650. Putting St. Patrick on our Timeline
6651. Reading fun stories
6652. Kids excited to do school work
6653. Seeing more of where Lillian is
6654. Learning to discern where each child is strong
6655. Trying to figure out how to encourage and build on their strengths
6656. Every moment being a learning opportunity
6657. Reuben saying "I love you"!
6658. Getting through the morning, though slower than normal
6659. Lillian going to the grocery store with Jim
6660. Reuben helping Gabriel
6661. Allowing kids to see the natural consequences of choices
6662. Finding someone I had been looking for on FB
6663. Hearing from workers
6664. Chinese for lunch
6665. Talking
6666. Being reminded I cannot coast on previous encounters with God, I need Him every day
6667. The 3 younger ones napping well
6668. Time to relax
6669. Quick conviction and repentance
6670. Changing out Gabriel's car seat
6671. Being reminded that Jamey is still only 4
6672. Being available to help a friend
6673. Having experience as an L&D nurse
6674. Being reminded how important a thankful spirit is
6675. Thinking about how much changing your perspective can help you
6676. God's mighty power over all things
6677. God constantly showing me how to have a Kingdom size perspective
6678. Learning store brand pull-ups work better than name brand (not all store brands but Target and Kroger)
6679. Getting my contacts in without issue
6680. God's forgiveness in everything
6681. Discussing more Truths with Jamey
6682. Learning more about original sin
6683. Getting to class early
6684. Being reminded of financial principles
6685. Learning about ways to help teach our kids financial principles even now
6686. Good thought provoking questions
6687. Being challenged to grow
6688. Getting home smoothly
6689. Smooth bedtime
6690. Good sleep all night for everyone
6691. Jim getting to school early
6692. Jim meeting with a friend
6693. Gidget coming over for a little bit before playgroup
6694. Having an indoor playground to go to
6695. All of our kids playing well together
6696. Great conversation
6697. Discussing photography and the business of it
6698. Gidget understanding my point of view on it as a photographer
6699. Finding out Gidget is also doing Novel November!!!!!
6700. God opening up other opportunities for us to connect
6701. Being able to speak Truth in non-spiritually focused conversation
6702. Learning how Christ effects everything
6703. Gidget picking up and starting The Case for Christ
6704. Seeing Margaret
6705. Meeting Scout
6706. Fun conversations
6707. Seeing Esther and her kids
6708. Jude and Reuben playing together
6709. Watching boys play like boys (it is different than girls in case you are wondering)
6710. The babies playing
6711. Being reminded of a song I learned in high school
6712. God using all things
6713. Walking to and from playgroup
6714. Yummy lunch
6715. Encouragement from different places
6716. Good rest time for the kids
6717. Talking to Jim
6718. Having good honest conversations
6719. Being challenged together
6720. Eyes being opened
6721. Learning the balance between wise planning and trusting God
6722. Figuring out where sacrifices need to be made
6723. Chili for dinner
6724. Dancing
6725. CG
6726. Full House again!
6727. Talking about miracles
6728. All asking God to do big, seemingly impossible things
6729. Being reminded that we really do not comprehend what Big looks like
6730. Great conversation and challenges
6731. Praying for each other
6732. Desiring the miraculous
6733. God moving in amazing ways
6734. Growing in the Spirit
6735. Sleep
6736. Cold weather
6737. Having access to heat (for the family)
6738. Clothes for cold weather
6739. School time
6740. Learning more about early missionaries
6741. Connecting Christ to most of what we are learning
6742. All our history lessons being on missionaries this week
6743. Flexibility
6744. Working on school in our time
6745. Not having anywhere to go
6746. Watching the kids play
6747. Reading my Bible
6748. Getting all of my SWI homework finished
6749. Kids resting
6750. Being surprised by my Spiritual Gift inventory
6751. God working on my heart as I struggle with doing my homework
6752. Trusting that God knows what he is doing
6753. Reuben growing in interest of school time
6754. Spiritual conversations that come from our reading
6755. God teaching me in the kids stories
6756. Learning how to explain things to kids
6757. Learning how to make suggestions to authority appropriately
6758. Learning to not react angrily over things that don't need anger
6759. Smooth bedtime
6760. Having a nice evening with Jim
6761. Watching a World Series game
6762. Playing Sudoku
6763. Just hanging out
6764. Decent bed time
6765. Sleeping until 9:30!
6766. Kids playing outside even with it being a little cold
6767. Reading a lot in my Bible
6768. Talking with Becca about the Bible
6769. Starting school later and still getting it all done
6770. Lots of learning conversations
6771. Kids learning more Bible verses
6772. Explaining Bible verses to the kids
6773. Reuben signing all of our songs
6774. Lillian desiring to learn more
6775. Jim having a productive morning
6776. Talking with the kids at the table
6777. Jamey learning to do a forward roll
6778. Kids napping
6779. Going on a dinner date with Jim
6780. Yummy burgers and fries
6781. Jim getting an A on his Hebrew test!
6782. Snow flurries
6783. Talking about where we are in life and where we are going
6784. Talking about Novel November
6785. Seeing how God is moving right now
6786. Learning to see and hear God more
6787. Good conversation
6788. Getting good information from Cade
6789. Encouragement
6790. Water Aerobics
6791. Encouraging conversations
6792. Meeting others who are also expecting and being able to encourage them
6793. Hearing people's hearts
6794. People's openness
6795. Seeing Katie
6796. Katie stopping what she was doing to pray for our family
6797. Sisterhood
6798. Iced coffee
6799. Meeting with Loren and Becca
6800. Honest communication
6801. Speaking into their lives
6802. An opportunity to be the "older woman"
6803. Good class
6804. Talking about Spiritual gifts
6805. Being reminded love is more important than anything else we do
6806. Finding out I know Mrs. Orrick's daughters
6807. Time to work on a song
6808. Journaling a little
6809. Drinking water
6810. Sleep
6811. Getting to sleep for most of the night without interruption
6812. Still sleeping until about 8:30
6813. Great school time
6814. Kids playing outside
6815. Reading 3 days of my Bible reading plan
6816. Lots to think about and learn from Jesus's teachings
6817. Being able to learn more
6818. God opening more doors in childbirth information
6819. There being more to learn
6820. Sandwiches
6821. Jamey adding in his head
6822. Seeing Jamey grow in knowledge
6823. Lillian loving sandwiches
6824. Gabriel eating so much
6825. Gabriel's laughter
6826. Nice rest time
6827. Getting a lot of needed emails sent
6828. Jim napping
6829. Getting stuff printed out for tomorrow
6830. Learning how to do double sided printing on the new printer
6831. Good chili
6832. Being able to drink a lot of water today
6833. Jim and the kids getting to play a game before work
6834. Movie night with the kids
6835. Connecting with people
6836. Smooth bed time
6837. Being able to work on other needed things
6838. Getting to sleep quickly
6839. Getting a few things done this morning
6840. Writing Group
6841. Getting to Panera early
6842. Having a few minutes to write in my journal
6843. Working on a Christmas break to-do list
6844. Having a few minutes to talk to Amanda
6845. Seeing Amanda growing and hearing what she is learning at school
6846. Coffee
6847. Seeing Claire
6848. Seeing Marie
6849. Encouraging conversation
6850. Praying for each other
6851. More encouragement for my book
6852. Hearing some great original hymns
6853. Extra time to talk and laugh
6854. Relaxing afternoon
6855. Finding a new blog that sounds right up my alley
6856. Getting through all of my October email in my extra email
6857. Yummy dinner (with mashed potatoes!!!!!)
6858. Jim making a yummy dinner
6859. Jim surprising me with mashed potatoes
6860. Reading to Lillian
6861. Reuben taking a long nap
6862. Family movie before Jim going to work
6863. Having a decent evening
6864. Smooth bed time
6865. God's goodness
6866. The day going well and quick at the same time
6867. God always dealing with my heart
6868. Learning more about my heart
6869. Learning how to discern what's in my heart
6870. Hearing from Allison
6871. Writing a couple emails
6872. Writing a blog post
6873. A productive day in a different way
6874. Getting some sleep
6875. Waking up at 7 and getting going
6876. Cinnamon rolls
6877. Getting out the door early
6878. Crisp October morning
6879. Kids exploring the church
6880. Talking with Lora
6881. Coffee
6882. Worshiping through song and Scripture
6883. Hearing about God's sovereignty
6884. Being blown away by the complex mystery of God
6885. Talking to Joanna and Roy
6886. Sitting with Ron and Abby
6887. Talking with Chris
6888. People who get us
6889. Mayo
6890. Resting some
6891. Talking with Becca
6892. Jamey telling us he wants to be changed
6893. Kids version of Sunday school lesson
6894. All 4 kids napping for 3 hours!!!!!
6895. Jim getting a good nap
6896. Celebrating Jen's 30th birthday
6897. Meeting new people
6898. Kids having fun
6899. Good conversations
6900. Falling asleep watching the World Series

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why Christians Should Learn Another Language

A few months ago Sojourn sent out Jeremiah and Lauren to begin a church plant in Miami. But before moving to Miami they spent 3-4 months in Costa Rica doing Spanish language learning. When I found this out my jaw nearly hit the floor. I have really been thinking for sometime now that Believers need to learn other languages for the purpose of reaching their international neighbors, but here someone was actually doing it! I was amazed! I still am.

I love languages and wish I knew every language in the world. I love to learn them. I love the challenge and being able to meet people where they are. I began to realize it is a God given love. I know I will likely never have the ability to speak all the languages apart from a divine miracle of the Spirit, but God has given me a love to learn what I can to help others. I seem to be better with Romance and Slavic languages and am terrible at Arabic, but I try.

I believe this is the part of the Great Commission and the charge from Acts 1:8. We are commanded to make disciples of all nations and this command is given to all who follow Christ. Today we do not have to go to the nations because the nations are coming to us. You  may not be called to full time overseas work, but is there a Hispanic worker in your office, an Iraqi neighbor, a Ukrainian bank teller? Who can you reach by simply attempting to speak their language. Maybe you help with ESL. I really appreciated that last week Nik said, "ESL should be a spring board to us learning there language." Meet people where they are. We know that people respond more readily to the Good News when they hear it in their heart language.

So I challenge you to learn another language. You may not do languages well, but that's OK. It's the effort that is what is important. Do your best. Who can you reach today?

Friday, October 25, 2013

If God Is For Us

"And if our God is for us, then what could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?"
~Chris Tomlin

As we sang this song on Sunday these words resonated deep within my heart. The day before I had spent all day learning about the persecuted church and what my Brothers and Sisters endure for the name of Christ. We sing this song in a culture that deals with little overt persecution comparatively. Would we sing this so boldly if we were being tortured? If we were running for our lives? If we were in a 5 by 5 prison cell with no bed or toilet and only bugs to keep us company? If we were the only follower of Christ anywhere and felt completely alone without being able to discuss our faith? How far would you take this? How far would I? Is Jesus worth giving our all, even our very physical life? I say yes, and God continues to question me, "what will you sacrifice for me?" 

What am I willing to sacrifice for God? What are you willing to sacrifice? There are many Brothers and Sisters around the world who are giving their all for Christ. I hope and pray that I would be willing to give anything. I know I fail so often, but I pray that I will continue to grow into Christlikeness and be willing to say, "God is with me so nothing can stop me."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 14 to 20

6301. Sleeping until 8:30
6302. Doing school with the kids
6303. All kids participating
6304. Reuben signing "Jesus Loves Me"
6305. Jamey and Lillian doing well with their book work
6306. Jamey going to the grocery store with Jim
6307. Reading and singing with Reuben
6308. Reading with Lillian
6309. Learning more about where Lillian is
6310. Reuben desiring to read more
6311. Reuben giving high 5's all time
6312. Reuben learning so much recently
6313. Reuben jumping and dancing
6314. Jamey giving himself a "tattoo" that says, "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 (At least he want's God's word on his arm. :) )
6315. Jamey and Lillian remembering all their verses for the year
6316. Jamey interacting with the books and asking questions
6317. Gabriel "talking" and clapping
6318. Gabriel saying more
6319. Watching Gabriel jump excitedly
6320. Frozen pizza for lunch
6321. Making sweet tea with Stevia
6322. Good rest time
6323. Time to relax
6324. Working on a couple things
6325. Getting journal written for class
6326. Good dinner
6327. Talking as a family over dinner
6328. Getting ready and out the door early
6329. Cheap McDonald's
6330. Getting to school early
6331. Singing Bible verse songs together
6332. Jamey knowing the Bible verse songs well
6333. Jamey wanting to listen to more music
6334. Childcare willing to take the kids a little early
6335. Time to relax and settle in before class
6336. Getting to know some classmates a little better
6337. Talking about pursuing our spouses
6338. Learning what pursuing looks like generally
6339. Talking about things that can get in the way of pursuing your spouse (seriously some things are not that obvious)
6340. Good questions
6341. Thinking of things to speak into this next week
6342. Being given an hour to discuss how to pursue each other better and discussing things that need to be adjusted
6343. Beautiful fall weather to sit out in and talk
6344. Repentance and forgiveness
6345. God's grace filling us
6346. Kids doing well
6347. Laughter and excitement even at 9 pm
6348. Smooth bedtime
6349. Relaxing for a few minutes
6350. Bed
6351. Sleeping until 9:30! (Seriously needed it!)
6352. Still getting ready for playgroup in a timely manner
6353. Remembering that it's ok not to do school every day
6354. Giving grace for this season
6355. Beautiful outside weather
6356. Kids playing well
6357. Seeing Gidget and Silas
6358. Silas and my kids playing together
6359. Great conversation
6360. Gidget bringing homemade banana bread muffins (really yummy!)
6361. Jamey meeting new people and talking to them
6362. Others not being bothered by him
6363. Jamey not knowing a stranger
6364. Seeing the Spirit move in Jamey
6365. Talking with Esther
6366. Gabriel swinging in the toddler swing (Loved it!)
6367. Talking to Caroline
6368. Friendships
6369. Lunch at the park
6370. Nice rest time
6371. Jamey loving The Magic School Bus
6372. How much Jamey learns from the show
6373. Jamey loving to learn all the time
6374. Jamey and Lillian both growing in conversation
6375. Reuben bringing me a book and saying "I want to read this"
6376. Watching Gabriel explore
6377. Being reminded of how early kids actively start sinning
6378. Being reminded of the depths of God's grace
6379. Getting homework done for SWI
6380. Not having any of the book to read for SWI this week
6381. Jim leading CG this week
6382. Having a full house at CG
6383. Great discussion
6384. People asking great questions to dig in more
6385. God moving in our group
6386. Encouragement
6387. Talking some about doubt
6388. Having girl time
6389. Having so many girls we broke up in pairs to share and pray
6390. Time to hear about Sara's life and share what's going on in mine
6391. Getting to know Sara better
6392. Getting to rejoice with Laura in her engagement
6393. Marriage
6394. Guys having lots of time to talk
6395. God growing us as family
6396. Ice cream
6397. CSI: NY
6398. Bed
6399. Half of us sleeping until 8 am!
6400. Time to play
6401. Jamey's growing imagination
6402. More school time
6403. Reuben clapping sideways while singing "This is the Day"
6404. All three kids dancing and singing
6405. Seeing Jamey and Lillian grow in knowledge and understanding
6406. Lillian showing more interest in her phonics work
6407. Helping Lillian with fine motor skills
6408. Jamey really working on writing capital Ns
6409. Jamey not getting frustrated at being asked to redo incorrect work
6410. Jamey beginning to comprehend what he reads
6411. Opportunities to teach Jamey patience with Gabriel
6412. Jim getting things figured out for a future class
6413. Fairly productive morning
6414. Time to read my Bible
6415. Time to write some deep thoughts about what I read
6416. Learning to know and seek God more
6417. God helping me work through deep theological questions
6418. Desiring to know God and His Word more
6419. Gabriel dancing to music
6420. Yummy sandwiches for lunch
6421. Cool ranch Doritos (these were super good today)
6422. Nice rest time
6423. Learning to be thankful in all things
6424. Growing
6425. Being challenged at all times
6426. Crazy evening
6427. Teaching kids consequences of negative behavior
6428. Teaching kids how their sin effects other people
6429. Being able to still have a little fun together
6430. Sudoku
6431. Fairly smooth bedtime
6432. Wheel of Fortune
6433. Time to talk and pray with Andy about CG
6434. Thinking about what CG should look like
6435. Thinking about areas of growth
6436. Jim finishing the book for class next week
6437. Having a bed
6438. Learning to take my thoughts captive (even when I am failing miserably)
6439. Finally sleeping
6440. Being able to get up at 8:30 (I slept quite roughly)
6441. Coffee
6442. Cheese grits
6443. Getting some school done with the kids
6444. Becca helping with school
6445. Reuben clapping and signing
6446. Reuben holding hands to pray
6447. Starting the day with the Lord's Word and worship
6448. Lillian wanting to learn more
6449. Getting laundry worked
6450. Lillian's spunky personality
6451. Making it through the morning without the TV
6452. Nice lunch time
6453. Kids playing outside
6454. Time to read my Bible and write about what I see
6455. Smooth rest time
6456. Getting all my work done for SWI
6457. Reflecting on my time alone with the Lord from last week
6458. Remembering the refreshing of the Spirit
6459. Learning to not get frustrated with things that are not meant to make me frustrated
6460. Talking with Becca
6461. Jamey falling asleep in the chair
6462. Jim surprising me with dinner out before our Thursday evening classes!
6463. Time to talk
6464. Talking to Abby
6465. Water Aerobics
6466. Meeting a Sister from East campus
6467. Hearing Claire's heart
6468. Seeing Jonny
6469. Having access to a microwave at school
6470. Seeing Joanna and her new baby
6471. Time to talk
6472. Being encouraged
6473. Time to talk about what being humble like Jesus looks like
6474. Being able to speak into each other's lives
6475. Being able to pray for those who are struggling
6476. Honest vulnerability
6477. People to talk to
6478. Being honest with thoughts and feelings
6479. Knowing where to take all the crazy things running around in my head
6480. Having a God who knows me fully and loves me anyway
6481. Jim getting done with class early
6482. Ice Cream!
6483. Getting to sleep
6484. Good sleep
6485. Waking up on my own not in a crazy dream state
6486. Jim getting a lot of school work done
6487. Becca getting some good pics of the kids for her homework
6488. School time
6489. Reuben vigorously signing our songs
6490. Reuben jumping and getting both feet off the ground
6491. Lillian improving with her phonics work
6492. Jamey never wanting to stop school
6493. Having children who desire to learn
6494. Jim not having class
6495. Starting a marriage book with interesting information
6496. Jim and Jamey playing together
6497. Jim getting to take a good nap
6498. Time to nap
6499. Jamey wanting to rest on the sofa with me
6500. Jamey asking to hold my hand while we rested
6501. Yummy dinner
6502. Being able to drink a glass of ice water without a reaction!!!!! (This is great)
6503. Watching the kids and Becca all dance together
6504. Watching the Duggars
6505. Working out plans for Thanksgiving weekend
6506. Having plans to go to Smyrna
6507. Talking to mom
6508. Reuben talking to Nana
6509. Jamey napping on the sofa
6510. Getting through to bedtime
6511. Smooth bedtime
6512. Watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy
6513. Working on an overdue project
6514. God always working
6515. Learning when to step away
6516. Getting to sleep
6517. Being able to get up and ready
6518. Lillian helping Becca in the kitchen
6519. Getting out of the door in a timely manner
6520. Becca being available to be with the kids so I could attend the Global Intensive
6521. Going to the Global Intensive
6522. Learning more about fully giving my ransomed life to God
6523. Learning more about the persecuted church
6524. Being challenged
6525. Seeing Jonah and Allison
6526. Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Wainright
6527. Seeing Milli
6528. Catching up with Natalie
6529. Seeing Amanda
6530. Nate and Karey being able to make it for the morning
6531. Karey getting me a mocha!
6532. Panera bagels for breakfast
6533. Seeing Jen
6534. Catching up with Sarah
6535. Meeting Nik and Ruth
6536. Getting advice from Ruth
6567. Learning more about Biblical context
6568. Learning how to minister in different areas
6569. God using persecution
6570. Thinking about what persecution looks like here
6571. My mind being blown
6572. Getting across the bridge with rain safely
6573. Great day
6574. Pizza for lunch
6575. Getting home with a detour
6576. Kids resting when I got home
6577. Jim sleeping well
6578. Playing
6579. Good dinner
6580. Sharing what I learned
6581. Watching a family movie together
6582. Playing a little Sudoku
6583. Starting to teach Lillian how to play
6584. Making a run to Target
6585. Catching up with Misa
6586. Smooth bedtime
6587. Jamey praying for his siblings
6588. Kids asking us to pray for them
6589. Lillian asking to watch football
6590. Getting email sent
6591. Lots of blessings to count
6592. Sleep
6593. Waking up to Jamey sleeping beside me
6594. Getting up and going
6595. Getting out of the house on time even with a late start
6596. Jim having a good evening at work
6597. Cold fall air
6598. Wearing long sleeves
6599. Church
6600. Kids exploring
6601. Reuben walking inside and up the stairs
6602. Seeing MyLee
6603. Talking to Lora
6604. Looking out the window
6605. Seeing Karen
6606. Talking to Mandy
6607. Talking to Ruth
6608. Seeing the Butlers
6609. Worshiping my God through music and Scripture
6610. Worshiping taking on a whole new meaning after learning more about the persecuted church
6611. Hearing Daniel talk about miracles
6612. Knowing we have a God who can still do miracles today
6613. Hearing about how to approach God
6614. Talking about "miracle math"
6615. Being encouraged
6616. Talking to Melanie
6617. Melanie being healthy for 2 weeks
6618. Lillian helping Reuben walk to the car with me (she is such a little mama)
6619. Wendy's filling me and sitting well
6620. Jim getting a good nap
6621. The kids asking to play a dance game
6622. Kids getting some exercise
6623. Kids resting well
6624. Talking with Becca
6625. Stuffed crust pizza and wings
6626. Talking to Brit
6627. Hearing from Anna
6628. Watching a family movie
6629. Staying off of separate media
6630. Smooth bedtime
6631. Watching a movie with Jim
6632. Snuggling with Jim on the sofa
6633. Having a nice quiet evening together
6634. Growing in learning to be together
6635. God's continuous mercy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Use My Ransomed Life

"Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone 
And live so all might see 
The strength to follow Your commands 
Could never come from me 
O Father, use my ransomed life 
In any way You choose 
And let my song forever be 
My only boast is You" 
~All I Have Is Christ by Jordan Kauflin

Recently God has been teaching me so much about the Truth that I belong to Him and He can do whatever He desires with my life to bring Him glory. We are expecting our 5th child in just over 5 years. I have always desired a big family, but was not expecting it quite this quickly. In spite of that I am thrilled and excited that it has happened this way. Why? Because it shows God's power and His care for His people. More than that, with each child I have learned to trust God and His ways more as well as learned how to surrender more and more of my life to Him that I might bring Him glory in all things.

The song above we sing often at Sojourn and I encourage you to listen to it. As God has grown our family I have learned that all I really do have is Christ and He is all I need. I learn more how much I cannot be a good wife and mother on my own. I see more of my sin and just how deep it goes. God promises those who are in Christ will be conformed into His likeness (Romans 8:29) and with each child I can see myself being conformed more to His image. I realize that they see what I do and hear what I say. Am I reflecting Christ? Or am I being selfish, lazy, disobedient, afraid, etc? I am still all of those things, but by God's grace I am learning to be more like Christ in all of my life. And the reason I am learning this is because each day I am learning to say "Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose". Is it easy? No! And sometimes I do things my own way. But letting God use my life is worth the apparent cost for the blessing of knowing God and His character more. 

Christ is all there is! How is He wanting to use your life today?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 7 to 13

6101. Sleeping until 9 am
6102. Being able to sleep with a child at my back
6103. Low key morning
6104. Starting Fall Break!
6105. Jamey and Reuben playing outside together
6106. Lillian going with Jim to the grocery store
6107. Reading a large portion of my Bible reading and writing about it
6108. Making connections with things I have heard
6109. Haircuts!
6110. Reuben enjoying having his hair cut (he did not want Jim to stop)
6111. Jamey complaining less about having his hair cut
6112. Becca trimming my hair
6113. Time to pray
6114. Learning to seek the Lord more
6115. Growing in knowledge of who God is
6116. Taking dinner to a friend
6117. Spending time talking
6118. Getting to hold Victoria
6119. Time to encourage
6120. Getting ginger candies
6121. Date night
6122. Dinner at Logan's
6123. Working on Date Night homework
6124. Cool Autumn weather
6125. Hanging out
6126. Sleeping until 9 am
6127. Getting ready for playgroup
6128. Meeting a new Sister at the park
6129. Becca connecting with other face painters
6130. Enjoying cool weather
6131. God's beauty
6132. Gabriel jumping and laughing
6133. Lunch in the park
6134. Reuben talking more
6135. Taking a nap
6136. Watching the kids dance
6137. Making it though handing out flyers
6138. Playing Cranium with the cg
Post haircut and bath
6139. McChicken sandwiches
6140. Sleep
6141. Reuben asking me to sit with him
6142. Jamey's imagination growing
6143. Having a low key day ahead
6144. Movie and family day
6145. Jim getting some homework done
6146. Not stressing out
6147. Laughter
6148. Hearing Reuben talk
6149. Reuben blowing kisses
6150. Jim meeting with Cory
6151. Relatively smooth bed time
6152. Having a movie night with Jim
6153. Relaxing together
6154. Sleeping until 8:30
6155. Gabriel sleeping until almost 7
6156. Kids helping with housework
6157. Exciting day ahead
6158. Showering
6159. Feeling awake and well
6160. Getting to Skype with Dawn!!!
6161. Being able to see each other though thousands of miles away from each other
6162. Being able to pray for each other
6163. Hearing about our lives
6164. Our kids getting to see each other and talk for a minute
6165. God's goodness
6166. Honesty
6167. Opportunities to learn and grow
6168. Learning of others who desire to reach out to families in the area of childbearing
6169. Encouraging emails
6170. God opening other doors
6171. Jim cleaning up the kitchen
6172. Good and quick doctor appointment
6173. Hearing a healthy heartbeat
6174. Time to read God's Word
6175. Being challenged in how I respond to God's Word
6176. Hearing encouraging words back from earlier emails
6177. Jim and the kids wrestling
6178. Snuggling with Reuben
6179. God really working on me
6180. God's graciousness
6181. Watching Lillian act out the role of Lilo
6182. Gabriel jumping and laughing
6183. The sanctification marriage and children bring
6184. The encouragement from Ashley's current series Blessed Chaos
6185. Being reminded why we need community
6186. God teaching us in so many different ways
6187. Dinner with friends
6188. Having a full crowded table
6189. Taco bar
6190. Guacamole
6191. Karey playing with Jamey
6192. Seeing more of Jamey's imagination
6193. Jamey greeting our guests
6194. Getting to know each other better
6195. Discussing possibilities for the future
6196. Praying together
6197. Lots of laughs and interesting facts
6198. Coffee and upside down cake
6199. Great evening
6200. Smooth bedtime for the kids
6201. Good sleep
6202. Getting up and 5 of us out the door in 30 minutes
6203. Munchkins
6204. Getting to MOMStogether earlier than anticipated
6205. Kids helping put things up
6206. Excitement about going to class
6207. Being encouraged to be refreshed by God
6208. Being refreshed while listening to music and praying
6209. Seeing Lora
6210. Meeting people from different back grounds who have had natural deliveries
6211. Encouragement
6212. Meeting a Sister from East campus
6213. Giving Jim 4+ hours to work on homework
6214. Jim having a productive morning
6215. Eating a sandwich with little issue
6216. Getting to rest for a few minutes
6217. Time to go out in the side yard
6218. Having time of Solitude and silence
6219. Having a required assignment to have a time of silence and solitude
6220. Enjoying the nature in my yard
6221. Extended time in the Word
6222. Hearing God more clearly
6223. Time to pray
6224. Feeling movement of the Spirit in me more
6225. Learning more about battling the flesh
6226. Feeling strength from the Spirit to overcome
6227. Being reminded why we need times of silence and solitude with the Lord
6228. Time to journal and plan a little bit
6229. Pouring out my heart to God
6230. Watching the sun move
6231. Admiring the beauty of the grass
6232. Learning to appreciate and admire the small insects
6233. Admiring what God has made
6234. Learning
6235. Appreciating the small things
6236. 2 Hours alone with the Lord
6237. Having little reaction to the quinoa chili tonight
6238. 19 Kids and Counting being back on Netflix!!!
6239. Watching the kids dance
6240. Getting caught up on my blessings
6241. Learning gratitude
6242. Desiring a changed heart
6243. God moving in me
6244. Relatively smooth bedtime
6245. Time to relax
6246. Remembering where true rest comes from
6247. God always pursuing me
6248. Learning more about God's sovereignty
6249. God being sovereign over all things
6250. Snoozing until almost 9
6251. Feeling decent upon waking
6252. Grace and forgiveness
6253. Talking with Becca
6254. Kids playing outside
6255. Watching the kids run in the side yard
6256. Seeing Jamey beginning to learn responsibility
6257. Gabriel becoming a really good eater
6258. Cheap pizzas for lunch
6259. Nice rest time
6260. Getting a little cat nap
6261. Encouragement from the Duggar's show
6262. Jim sleeping well
6263. Having a little family time before Jim went to work
6264. Getting Becca interested in 19 Kids and Counting
6265. The kids enjoying some of the show
6266. Relatively smooth bed time
6267. Time to relax and sleep
6268. Lillian waking up to use the toilet
6269. Jim getting home safely
6270. Jamey sleeping until 7:30!
6271. Cinnamon Rolls
6272. Everyone getting ready in a timely fashion
6273. Sharing with Sisters
6274. Worshiping Jesus with a room full of Brothers and Sisters
6275. Being reminded that Jesus is Lord and He can do whatever He wants with my life, Jim's life and my kids' lives. He is in control!
6276. Being reminded of what it means to know Jesus
6277. Desiring to know Jesus more
6278. Seeing Brothers and Sisters from CG
6279. Parent Child Dedication
6280. Wendy's
6281. Eating healthy food with little reaction
6282. Getting a nap
6283. New season of Bones on Netflix
6284. Kids playing outside well together
6285. Hearing their imagination
6286. Listening to Jamey and Lillian talk to each other
6287. Talking with Jamey about his Sunday School lesson
6288. Hearing Jamey speak Truth
6289. God moving in Jamey's heart
6290. Time to pray for the W family
6291. Talking about the Holy Spirit
6292. Being around people with cool stories
6293. Talking respectfully about theology
6294. Organic prayer time
6295. Being moved by the Spirit
6296. Talking about Spiritual gifts
6297. God bringing different people together to serve Him
6298. God's faithfulness in all things
6299. Learning about different things
6300. Great conversation

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Is Our Response?

"Ezra opened the book [of the law] in the sight of all the peoples for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God. And all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground." Nehemiah 8:5-6

This was in my reading today and really caught my attention. The depth of response the Israelites showed when hearing the Law of the Lord is amazing. It is challenging. How do we respond when we hear the Word of the Lord? How do we respond when we hear someone bless the Lord? Do we bless the Lord?

I am thankful that Sojourn has us stand for the reading of Scripture, but I wonder would I stand if they did not request us to? Sometimes yes, but sometimes no. Sometimes I feel too tired or I am just not enamored enough with Jesus to honor Him. I want my desire to be to stand to honor God's Word, to love Him more than myself or my comfort; To respond in awe and wonder at what God has done for me and for the world.

What is your response to hearing the Word of God? Most Americans would not hesitate to stand when they hear the national anthem or for saying the pledge to the flag, but it does not cross their minds to honor God by standing for the reading of His Word. I would challenge you to seek your heart and ask God how to teach you to respond to His Word. We are so blessed to live in a time and place that we can have access to God's Word whenever we want. But in this, it becomes easy to take it for granted, and we lose our awe and response.

Let's challenge each other to seek God's Word and to respond by the power of the Spirit no matter where it may lead us.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 30 to October 6

5921. Sleeping until 8:30
5922. Doing a fairly normal school morning
5923. Jamey and Lillian both excited about doing their work
5924. Reuben sitting with us for the songs
5925. Reuben growing in wanting to learn
5926. Reuben "saying" Romans 3:23
5927. Gabriel clapping his hands
5928. Watching Gabriel laugh and play with his siblings
5929. Reuben building and counting the blocks in his towers
5930. Learning to get through crazy afternoons
5931. Jim and I getting our homework done for class
5932. Growing in communicating
5933. Nice family dinner
5934. Getting to school early
5935. Being early enough for Jim to go back and get our books after forgetting them
5936. Getting the kids dropped off in chaos
5937. Great class time
5938. Learning more about conflict resolution
5939. Talking about how to resolve conflict with Jim
5940. God teaching us everyday
5941. Getting the kids in bed quickly
5942. Collapsing at the end of a busy day
5943. Everyone sleeping until 7!
5944. Getting some school done
5945. Feeling a little bit more normal
5946. Playgroup at Cherokee
5947. Spending time with Gidget
5948. Jamey and Reuben exploring the water
5979. Kids exploring the park
5980. Seeing Esther and her kids
5981. Seeing Caroline and her kids
5982. Time to encourage friends
5983. Time to pray for friends
5984. Restful afternoon
5985. All kids napping
5986. Working on SWI homework
5987. Being encouraged to get back into journaling
5988. God growing me
5989. Kids sleeping a long time
5990. Good dinner
5991. CG
5992. Having a full house
5993. Enjoying a good conversation
5994. Encouraging each other with the Word
5995. Praying for each other
5996. Getting to know each other better
5997. Seeing God at work
5998. Getting sleep
5999. Feeling decent in the morning
6000. School time
6001. Learning together
6002. Growing together
6003. Finishing SWI homework
6004. Having a lower key day
6005. Being together as a family
6006. Spending time with Andy and Shannon
6007. Discussing community
6008. Encouraging each other in growth
6009. Waking more refreshed
6010. Really yummy breakfast
6011. School with the kids
6012. Reuben "signing" "Jesus Loves Me"
6013. Seeing Reuben grow
6014. Working on the Timeline
6015. Learning about Thomas in India
6016. Jamey making connections with friends when we talk about different places
6017. Seeing growth in my kids
6018. Being challenged everyday
6019. Time to relax before a long evening
6020. McDonald's
6021. Eating food that agrees with my stomach
6022. Being in the water
6023. Exercise
6024. Talking about childbirth
6025. Encouraging a sister
6026. Seeing people we haven't seen in awhile
6027. Being challenged
6028. Seeing Cade and Amy
6029. Great conversation in small group
6030. Encouragement
6031. God's goodness
6032. Meeting Miranda
6033. Sleep
6034. Sleeping undisturbed until almost 8
6035. Feeling a little better this morning and eating
6036. Getting things ready for women's prayer
6037. 3 Women coming
6038. Great time of prayer
6039. Kids doing well during prayer
6040. Getting to know Alia's heart more
6041. Yummy sandwiches
6042. Eating home grown cucumbers
6043. Nice rest time
6044. Almost falling asleep
6045. Lean cuisine pizzas
6046. Talking with God
6047. Knowing where to go when I am overwhelmed
6048. Reuben dancing
6049. All 3 kids dancing to the Star Trek theme song
6050. Laughter
6051. Craziness
6052. Smooth bed time
6053. Time to work on things
6054. Getting caught up
6055. Sleep
6056. Dozing on the sofa until 9
6057. Yummy breakfast
6058. Low key day
6059. Kids dancing and playing
6060. RAIN!
6061. Kids playing in the rain
6062. Opening all the windows and enjoying natural air conditioning
6063. Listening to the rain
6064. Watching The Sound of Music
6065. Reading encouraging words from other people who live in chaos
6066. Being able to help a friend after they have moved away
6067. Reading the book of Zechariah (need to go back through this one slowly)
6068. Writing in my journal about what I read
6069. Working on being more disciplined
6070. Struggling every day
6071. God giving me more patience today
6072. God helping me to hold my temper
6073. Feeling God's grace more each day
6074. Learning to live more by God's grace
6075. Having food to eat
6076. Garlic mashed potatoes
6077. Chocolate Chip cookies
6078. Sweet Tea
6079. Relaxing
6080. Teaching opportunities
6081. Being able to wake up without being fully rested (this time it was my fault)
6082. Beautiful refreshing rain
6083. All getting to church without getting excessively wet
6084. New interesting photos to look at
6085. Hearing from Dr. Pennington
6086. God breaking into my heart
6087. Realizing more of my struggle
6088. Seeking the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome my weaknesses
6089. Learning about healing
6090. God's amazing stories that are full of Truth and mystery
6091. Our kids learning and sharing
6092. Good $5 boxes at Taco Bell
6093. Talking about the Parable of the Soils
6094. Getting things done in a timely manner
6095. Leaving the TV off until after nap time
6096. Running to CVS
6097. Jim getting to listen to the Braves game
6098. Time to relax
6099. God's goodness
6100. Time to sleep