Friday, January 31, 2014

January Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes, this has been done most if not everyday
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- This too has been done most days, though I know not every one
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Yes! We have memorized John 3:7, Matthew 6:24, Psalm 89:8 and are currently working on Ephesians 6:11
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I read over Proverbs 31:10-31 and began working on v 10 this week, need to get this in my daily routine
  • Go out for a date once a month- Yes
  • Go on a night away once this year- No, need to figure out when this might be possible
  • Read 3 books together this year- We have not started any yet
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Yes
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do this. I know it happened here and there, but I need to plan this better in February
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- We have had some crazy weather so we missed at least 1
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- Again crazy weather and Jim starting classes so we did not get this done this month. Hopefully we will make up for it in the summer
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Did a little catching up
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Worked on getting my scrap stuff organized so I can do this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- I'm changing my definition of what this means, so I did this about half the month
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- I did not do this as well as I would have liked, but by God's grace I've seen some improvement
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes!
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- Had my first of the year last Saturday, snow and all. It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blog- Yes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- Yes! I have been reading a lot this month: I finally finished "Redeeming Childbirth" and "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" (review to come) and read all of "A San Woman's Guide to Raising a Healthy Family" (review to come)
  • Journal 5 days a week- I actually think I managed to average this at least 3 weeks! 
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- I did not do this, but have worked some
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- I have the first 10 1/2 pages edited for the first round (I know I'll need to go over it again)
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- I have been working on answering questions that I have been given to me
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- I have done some initial planning!
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Rosetta Stone has been giving me some issues so I did not work on this much this month
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! 
  • Blog 3 days a week- I have definitely averaged that this month and then some!
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- I had to miss one week because no one else was home, but have been keeping up otherwise
  • Maintain weight until birth- Struggling with this, though not gaining as fast as I usually do
  • Lose weight after giving birth
January was a great month. God has been so gracious to me and helping me to be productive throughout the day. I have gotten far more done than I had expected and I am so grateful for it. I am still homeschooling and have stayed on top of my kids work. Jim has been productive and begun school. I am just amazed at what all God has done in January. I hope and pray February is just as wonderful!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Blessings

Last year it was wonderful writing down as many blessings as I could think of to reach 10,000 by the end of the year. It was challenging at times and often tedious, but well worth it. God really taught me how to have a thankful heart and see how many blessings I really have.

This year my plan is to simply highlight several things that stood out throughout the month.

  1. I made it through 2 full days with all 4 kids by myself while pregnant. God filled me with His grace and it was a wonderful week, though crazy and busy.
  2. Watching my kids grow in being more like friends, especially Jamey and Lillian
  3. How much Gabriel is learning: almost walking, waving, blowing kisses, giving hugs and kisses and using signs and words to communicate
  4. Seeing how much Reuben is learning: doing puzzles, communicating better and beginning to learn to use the toilet
  5. Going many days with almost no TV viewing time
  6. Staying on top of things and growing in organization
It's been a great month. I look forward to what God will teach us in February!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Praising God

"Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise  Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His acts of great power;
Praise Him for His surpassing greatness!
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
Praise Him with the harp and lyre!
Praise Him with tambourine and dancing,
Praise Him with the strings and flute!
Praise Him with the clash of cymbals,
Praise Him with resounding cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!"

Psalm 150

It was a wonderful way to begin the year, talking about praising the Lord. I loved the reminder of all aspects of praise.

The Who of Praise: The Lord
Only God is worthy of our praise. In praise we are responding to who God is and what He has revealed to us.
We need to put off individualism and consumerism and focus on praising the Lord for who He is.

The Where of Praise: the sanctuary
We are to gather together as God's people to worship and praise the Lord. We are also able, though Christ, to be living temples of the Holy Spirit and can worship anywhere. Our lives are to be a lives of praise.

The When of Praise: At All Times!
We are to praise God when we are alone and when we are with other believers

The Why of Praise: Because of Who God is and what He has done
We praise God because we have experienced Him and His amazing grace

The What of Praise: Life
There are many things included in praise including exultation, reminding us of what God has done, expressing doubts, confusion, encouraging each other and speaking Truth over our lives. We are declaring about God.
Praise helps us rehearse how we are to live our life

The How of Praise:
  • With our Voices
    • Speak- encouraging each other, saying amen, engaging
    • Sing- Lifting up praise songs to God
    • Shout- expressing verbally the excitement or anguish that is going on inside our hearts
  • With our Hands
    • Lift- communicates intimacy, sacrifice, surrender, intercession
    • Play Instruments- Use instruments to express yourself, but don't rely on them either. Our voices are instruments
    • Clap- Expressing admiration 
  • With Our Whole Body
    • Stand- Expression of reverence, unity and honor
    • Bow- Puts things in perspective, shows surrender, helps us to focus, humility
    • Dance- expressing the joy and excitement that the Lord gives us
Worship and praise are about God and not us. We are to respond to God and what He has done for us, because He has done great things!

How are we stifling our expression to God?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Recently our CG has been talking a lot about accountability. I used to meet regularly with my dear friend, Dawn, until she moved overseas. Since then I have realized how much I miss having accountability. However in our discussions in CG I never realized how much of a hot topic this is. I never realized how many different ideas people have about accountability. So I thought I would write a little about my experience.

Before meeting Dawn I wanted accountability, but really had no idea what that looked like. I knew I wanted a place where I could be open and honest about life and my struggles and still be loved and accepted but also be encouraged to fight sin and grow in relationship with God. That's what we say Christ does for us. But I had yet to really find this.

When Dawn and I started meeting it was all I expected and more. It took time to learn each other and grow, but by the time she left we knew each other so well. We knew each others faults and struggles and yet still loved and encouraged each other. Our times together included talking about what was going on in our lives, anything we were really struggling with, questions to help us understand or to dig deeper when we could not quite identify what was going on and praying for each other. I began learning to pray Scripture and remind God of His promises for His people. I grew so much.

I am still growing, even with irregular accountability, but I miss regularly talking about what is going on in my life and being encouraged or called out. I pray all God's people will seek this kind of accountability and desire to be the one holding another accountable. It's a high calling, but it's what we are to do for each other.

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Blog

I'm so excited to share with you the start of a new blog that I am working on. As many of you know childbirth is a passion of mine and I believe it is important to share information, educate and build community for women during this precious season of life. With that I am launching a new blog to go along with a class I have begun teaching, Childbirth Conversations. I will continue writing in this blog as it is for my family and what we are learning, but will also be writing on the Childbirth Conversations blog as well. I hope you will drop by and join in the conversations!

If you have questions about pregnancy and childbirth please ask. If you have stories you would like to share contact me. I am excited to follow God on this adventure He is leading me in and hope you will join me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Serve as Jesus Served

Last week at Sojourn we studied John 13:1-17 where Jesus washes His disciples feet. It was such an encouragement and great reminder of what Jesus calls us to do as His followers. We are to follow His example and serve as Jesus served. When Jesus washed His disciples feet He took the role of a common servant. This speaks volumes to me as many times I buck at doing normal every day things to serve my family. Jesus, however, took on the dirtiest of tasks, washing feet, to show how we are to serve.

The point that stood out to me the most is that before we can serve for God we must be served by God. Jesus is clear with Simon Peter in verse 8 when He says, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me" that He is the one who has to serve us, clean us and make us part of God's family. Unless we know God we cannot serve in His Name.

Lord, help me remember everyday that You have served me, cleansed me, by the blood of Christ. Help me to serve as Jesus did without reservation and without stipulation.

Have you been cleansed by God? Are you willing to serve as Jesus did?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Redeeming Childbirth

I was so excited when I ran across this book as I too feel like childbirth needs to be redeemed in our culture. Angie Tolpin writes with much enthusiasm on the topic of childbirth that I can relate to, as I also have much enthusiasm for childbirth. It is a beautiful God given gift that needs to be discussed more, particularly among believers. 

There was a lot I liked in this book: giving God the glory for designing childbirth, things to help with seeking God during pregnancy, practical things to consider in childbirth, things to think about when planning for birth, Scripture and resources to go to, being a Titus 2 woman in sharing your experience with others and a note for husbands. Generally speaking I like what was written. There is a website that corresponds with the book at

The downside of this book is her all but saying that natural childbirth is more spiritual than other births. She is very gracious in how she says it, but unfortunately there is a clear undertone in the majority of what she says. I also felt there was a lot of repetition in what she says and that the book could have been more condensed. 

I would absolutely recommend this book for the resources and spiritual guidance it gives, but unfortunately I have to give a disclaimer when recommending it because of the first issue listed above. Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Teach Kids What True Beauty Is

"Charm is deceptive and BEAUTY is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

In the discussion this was primarily directed at teaching our girls and so I will begin with that. Women were made in the image of God and in that they are beautiful. Satan attacks the beauty of women. He lies to women about beauty and/or attempts to pervert it. Our culture has bought into his lies and made beauty an outward only and unattainable thing. Instead our beauty comes from within and shines in who we are. As Christians, we are to shine the love of Christ and teach our daughters to do the same. 

When teaching our girls about outward beauty we need to teach them what God's word says about beauty and let God and us be their mirror, not the world. We need to direct them in being who God created them to be. 

When it comes to sons, we need to also teach them what God says about beauty and what to look for in a wife. We need to teach them to look for Godly character that shines forth in their natural beauty. Having 3 sons I think a lot about this and pray that I model Godly character and beauty as well as teaching them what it looks like in others.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Become Your Child's Friend

"There is a FRIEND that sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

This is one that was a bit of a new concept for me as I was raised in the mindset that you are their parent not their friend. I very much appreciated the way Kim explained the concept of becoming their friend. When they are young we are the parent and their authority. We are to teach them friendship in this by directing them to people who have Godly character and making our close friends with those families who are also Godly. We model what it is to be a Godly friend.

As they grow up we become friends with them as they learn to make decisions. As a family we are a team. When conflict arises in between us and our children, we need to recognize that we are not each others enemy. Satan is the enemy and he is working to cause discord between us as his desire is to destroy the family and discredit God's design of family. This is a great point to remember and something I am seeking to get into my heart and mind as I raise my kids. Lord, give me wisdom on teaching and instructing my kids so we can grow in friendship as they get older. Show me how to do this!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tell The Truth

"Give glory to God by telling the TRUTH." John 9:24

Truth is very important. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the Life. As Christians God expects us to tell the Truth because we have the Truth in us in the person of Jesus Christ. We are to teach our children the same and expect them to always tell the truth. Lies discredit us and break others trust in us. Lying breaks down the family. We must demand that our children tell the truth and teach them when they do not that there are consequences and that trust must then be earned. 

We must model telling the truth as well. Everything we seek to teach we must model. This does not mean our children need to know every single thing about our lives all at once, but we must be honest with them on their level. We need to be transparent with our children and show them we are not perfect, but teach them in everything. Lord, help me to be truthful in all things.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Respect Your Kids

"Show proper RESPECT to everyone." 1 Peter 2:17

Respect is a dying concept, but as Christians we are to show respect to everyone. This includes our kids. Though they are younger, they are not stupid and if we give them an ear they can also teach us. We can also teach them by modeling respect for others: teach them how to listen, give eye contact, speak in a gentle tone and put God and others first. We are to live differently from the world. 

How are we teaching our children respect?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Encourage Your Kids

"ENCOURAGE one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

This is something I really need to grow in. I do not encourage easily, it's not in my nature, but I want to grow in encouraging my kids. Kids need to know when they are doing something well. The word encourage means to give courage to, so when we express to our children that they are doing something well we put courage into our kids to do more and grow. We must be intentional in looking for ways to do this. We need to speak their language.

Another aspect that I found intriguing in encouraging them is helping them to fight for areas of glory. This concept sounds a little odd, but what they meant by this is when they can do something well do not let Satan use it to bring them down. We teach our children that those things they can do well are talents that God has given them and we help them, through the Holy Spirit to fight for what they can do well and give the glory to God because they can do it well. We must teach them to point all good things back to God.

How can you encourage your child today?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taking Back Sunday

This past Sunday at Sojourn they began a "Taking Back Sunday" initiative to help us find ways to be more intentional on Sundays. For many it is a day off, a day of rest, and we are being encouraged to step into this to learn more how to honor God in our rest. It was exciting for us, since one of the ideas they presented was to have meals or hang out time with your community group, and we had planned for our group to join us for lunch at our house that afternoon. It's amazing when God stirs in your heart the same way He is stirring in our elders. Many of these ideas are ones that I have had before as I have sought how to have a "Sabbath".

Other ideas they gave for taking back Sunday include having celebrations (which will happen next week after Baptisms), being consistent in corporate worship, writing in your journal, resting, slowing down, showing hospitality, unplugging from technology/email/social media/etc., doing additional Bible study and spending time meditating.

How can you seek to take back your Sundays?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dying To Self

Dying to yourself is not a concept that is cared for much in our culture that is all about self. Two Sunday's ago, Pastor Mike delved into this topic and it was something I really needed to hear. As a Christian we are called to die to ourselves and to live for Christ alone. This is the cost of discipleship. 

When I made my goals for this year one of the biggest things I wanted to do was learn to die to myself more and really seek what it was that God was calling me to do. One of my good friends wrote that I must be "super woman" because of my goals, but I am anything but super woman. At the heart of most of my goals is learning to die to self and live for Christ. 

I am a lazy person and I like to do what I want to do, otherwise known as selfish with my time. These are 2 major things I realized I love more than God. I want to die to laziness and selfishness and live for Christ by loving Him and others and being diligent with my time. So my goals were born for this year. We are half way through the month and I have faltered greatly in both of these areas.

Last Saturday I had a moment of "dying to myself" crisis. My kids asked to play a game and I thought that meant the dance game or something like that, which is what I wanted so I could work on something while they played. But no, they wanted to play Wheel of Fortune, which I have to help with. I was so frustrated and took it out on Becca, getting irritated for no reason and allowing my dumb competitive nature to take its course. As we played, though, I realized it was more enjoyable to be with my kids, helping them learn and letting them get things wrong as well as letting go of some of my competitiveness. I had to not care about winning or doing what I wanted to do so that my kids had an opportunity to learn. This was much more important. 

I know there have been other times that I have needed to die to myself and have not, and God is working on me in those moments. God is faithful to do whatever it takes to conform us into Christ-likeness.

How is God asking you to die to yourself today?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Be The Example

"Follow my EXAMPLE as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1

We are to live a Godly example before our children. As I mentioned in the post Admit When You're Wrong, it is impossible for us to be perfect, but we can live to the best of our God given ability they way Christ lived. We should be growing every day in His likeness and teaching this to our children. Live so that your kids will "catch" the example, don't just use words.

It is on us, the parents, to disciple our children. We are to be teaching them at all times the ways of the Lord (Deut. 6:5-9). Teaching has the image of sharpening and we are to sharpen the arrows our God has given us with His word and His ways. 

We can also help them in directing them to what Godly mentors look like. When they are young we should help our kids seek out mentors who will direct them in God's ways and point them to Scripture for all things. 

Lord, grant all parents wisdom to lead by example as they follow Christ.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teach Them To Obey

"Children OBEY your parents in the Lord for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

In our culture this seems to becoming more and more of a foreign concept, but the Bible clearly commands children to obey their parents and for parents to train their children. I was thankful for the reminder that it is good and right to expect first time obedience. I know this, but I am horrible at actually following through with any kind of discipline when there is not first time obedience. But first time obedience is what God expects from us, so why should we expect less from our children. In teaching them first time obedience, we are teaching them what the Lord expects. We are also showing them their need for a Savior as it is impossible to have first time obedience without the help of the Holy Spirit.

A good tip for this is having the kids repeat to you the instructions that you have given them. I love this idea as my kids do not seem to process verbally well much of the time. This way you know they understood what you said and can tell if they are seeking to obey or defying you. 

It is also helpful to remember that our kids need both discipline and encouragement. Both go a long way in training them in the ways of God. Is this not what God does for us? May God give us His Spirit to train our children in obedience the way He trains us.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Train Their Heart

"Above all else guard your HEART for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

From a very early age, we have to begin speaking to the heart of our children. From our heart flows everything, whether good or bad. While they are still in the womb we should be reading Scripture to them, singing praise songs to God and speaking of the wonderful things that God has done.

I loved that they pointed out that teaching our children a Biblical worldview begins in our marriages. The way we live as husband and wife before our children shows them what we really believe. It also shows them how we view Christ and the church, as that is what marriage is a picture of. Our actions teach them more than our words. 

We also must die to ourselves and teach them to do the same. Christ calls us to die to our own way and to live in light of the cross. The Bible must be our first go to so that we can train them in what God says, not just what we think. Read and pray Scripture over your kids so they will have it in their hearts.

Training a child's heart is so difficult, as we know how evil our own hearts are. Pray for strength and guidance to do this well and trust that God will do the rest in bringing them to salvation. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pray for Your Kids

"The PRAYER of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

Prayer is a necessary part of the Christian life. Prayer is communicating with God. Without prayer we are relying on ourselves for everything, when we should be relying on God. 

When we pray, both for and with our kids, we are teaching them reliance on God. We show the that we need God and teach them that they also need God. We need to be intentional in our prayers. I really needed to hear this as I have gotten very lax lately in praying intentionally for my children. I pray for their salvation, but often neglect other things that are also part of a life with Christ. There are so many things I need to add to pray for them regularly. I use to do this and really need to get back to it. 

We also need to pray without ceasing. The Lord is growing me in this and I am so thankful, but I have a long way to go. I must teach my children that we can do nothing apart from God which is what we teach as we pray continuously. 

Prayer is very personal and we must teach them to be mindful of who they pray with outside of the family as prayer connects people in a very special way. 

We must pray and teach our kids to pray. It is so important!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Admit When You Are Wrong

At MOMStogther this month, we had 2 ladies and one of each of their kids come and talk to us about raising Godly ladies and gentlemen, sharing their top 10 points from Scripture. I want to share what I learned from them, starting with their 10th verse and point.

"The bows of the warrior are broken but those who STUMBLE are armed with strength." 1 Samuel 2:4

If we want to raise Godly children we must admit when we are wrong to them. There is only one perfect parent and that is GOD! If we cannot admit when we are wrong we put ourselves in place of God saying, even silently, that our standard is the standard.

I cannot tell you how hard this is! Anyone who is human knows it is challenging to admit when we are wrong to anyone, especially children. But as Kim said on Friday, The best gift we can give our kids is to not be a perfect mom. This makes them depend on the only perfect God. It shows them that it is OK to fail and then we point them back to God and the cross of Christ when they do. God grows us in our failure. If we never fail, then what is our need for God? Praise the Lord He is gracious and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so we can go to Him and seek His help when we do fail. We must teach this to our children.

Admit when you are wrong and show your kids how to seek forgiveness not only from God but others as well.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Taking the Mornings Back

Last semester was insane. Between pregnancy, Jim in class every day, me in class 2 days a week, holidays and vacation, I seriously lost self-discipline. This is not something I am great at to begin with, and so it takes very little for me to slip into a very lazy lifestyle with no discipline and little planning. I just do whatever is easiest at the time.

Newsflash: This does NOT work!

This is particularly true when you have kids. Jim and I were very much "fly by the seat of our pants" during our pre-children days, but with each child I am learning more that it is no accident that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control (or as I have to tell myself, self-discipline). It is not natural at all to be disciplined so as to do things in an orderly manner that is best for others. It is completely natural to do what you want to do when you want to do it with no regard to anyone else. As Christians we are called to die to ourselves and live for Christ, which takes discipline.

So to start this first full week of the new year Jim and I decided we would get up every morning about 6 Sunday through Friday with our older 2 and do individual Bible reading and journaling for about 30 minutes to start the day. (We're working on getting the kids up to that long, but you get the idea.) We want to take back the chaos that had become mornings and turn it into a time to focus first on the Lord, seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness to start the day. This has been a blessing. Adjusting has been a little difficult, but honestly I am no more tired than when I was able to sleep until 8 or 9 and I have been much more productive in my days. God truly blesses our discipline in seeking Him first.

This does not mean days have gone perfectly. Most mornings I want to turn off the alarm and say forget it. But by God's amazing grace we will grow in this as a family and learn to seek God individually as well as together.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Swimming in the Snow

Tonight when I went to water aerobics it was snowing again. This is the second week in a row it has been actively snowing while I was in the water. I am so thankful the seminary has an indoor heated pool so that even when it is -4 degrees outside (as it was earlier this week) we can still use it and get exercise. It is need swimming in the snow since usually it is not our first thought to go swimming when it's cold outside. It's the little things in life that catch your attention. I hope you get a chance to swim in the snow!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The In-Between by Jeff Goins

I received a free copy of this book to review from Story Cartel. I thought the book was beautiful and well written as a whole. The stories of life are a great reminder that not every will live the same life and that our lives may not turn out the way we expect, but that may be better for us. "So perhaps the fact that life doesn't always turn out the way we'd hoped is a blessing, not a curse - if we have eyes to see it." This was my favorite quote and conclusion of the book.
I will say I feel the title was a little deceptive for me. The beginning held to the title, but honestly this is a memoir of what he sees as important events in his life. The end sort of wrapped it up, but still did not really conclude what I would have expected. Also, as a follower of Christ, I found his lack of conviction personally frustrating. I would rather have him say exactly what he believes than to tip-toe around "delicate" subjects because he might offend someone.
None of my dislikes would keep me from recommending this book as it has some great points and wonderful stories in it. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars on a rating scale.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Goals for 2014

I cannot believe it is already 2014! This past year went by so quickly and it seems like I barely made a dent in last years goals, but really God did so much with me. This year I did not prepare as much for the new year as I did last year, but in some respects things have not changed. I have tweaked my goals to match where God has lead me to at this point in my life, but much is similar. So here it goes for 2014.


  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily
  • Memorize verses with the kids 
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)
  • Go out for a date once a month
  • Go on a night away once this year
  • Read 3 books together this year
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule
  • Keep up with my calendar
  • Being fully present when with my family 
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blog
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material
  • Journal 5 days a week
  • Write (books) 3 days a week
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book
  • Plan for next novel and write in November
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group
  • Blog 3 days a week
  • Go to water aerobics once a week
  • Maintain weight until birth
  • Lose weight after giving birth
I have left off things that I would really like to accomplish, however this is where life is right now and I am trying to be realistic, especially with our family growing again. My desire is to grow in Christ likeness and be consistent in my life. May this help me lean on God that much more! 

What are your goals for 2014? May it be a blessed year for you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 30 to January 1

9681. Sleeping until 8 am
9682. Starting the morning with a good conversation with Rachel and Becca
9683. Becca reading Revelation to Rachel
9684. Rachel being challenged by Revelation
9685. Jim going to breakfast with Daddy
9686. Jim having good discussions with Daddy
9687. Kids eating a lot of fruit for breakfast
9688. Family getting out of here when they intended to
9689. Leaving us Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper
9690. Figuring out meal planning quickly this morning
9691. Getting a grocery list together quickly
9692. Going to the grocery store
9693. Having a plan for the day
9694. Jim having time to work on writing papers
9695. Good run at the store
9696. Going by myself
9697. Time to pray in the car
9698. Finding everything I needed
9699. Spending far less than I anticipated at the store
9700. Coupons
9701. Great customer service
9702. Being given a sample turkey and cheese slice to eat
9703. Deli lady putting paper slices between the cheese
9704. Reading about Loving others as yourself
9705. God giving immediate opportunity to love others
9706. The Holy Spirit seeking and growing my heart
9707. Taco Bell for lunch
9708. Crunch wrap supreme
9709. Reuben eating well
9710. Kids resting
9711. Reuben napping
9712. Lillian napping
9713. Time to read more of Revelation
9714. Talking to Becca about church yesterday
9715. Hearing similar things
9716. Becca beginning to recognize God's grace in her life
9717. Talking about living in grace
9718. Talking about Revelation
9719. Writing in my journal
9720. God moving in our family
9721. God moving in my heart
9722. Wrestling with God's Word
9723. Having a seeking heart
9724. Beginning to work on getting our family planning notebook together for the year
9725. God providing our planning materials for much cheaper than last year
9726. Realizing what did not work last year and making necessary adjustments
9727. Jim getting 2 papers written for his J-term class
9728. Being more consistent with discipline
9729. Finalizing plans to go out with the Whites
9730. Shannon letting us know about New Years Eve plans
9731. Being remembered by our Shannon in her planning
9732. Having a great CG
9733. Gabriel taking about 5 steps by himself without coaxing
9734. Gabriel eating a lot for lunch
9735. The printer cooperating
9736. Becca starting The Cross Centered Life
9737. Reuben giving big hugs
9738. Productive day
9739. Being able to read
9740. Living in a place where we are free to read what we want to read
9741. Living in a place where we can write what we want
9742. God's freedom
9743. Always being challenged and growing
9744. Jamey learning to throw well
9745. Watching Jim play with Jamey and Reuben
9746. Opportunity to teach Reuben
9747. Being reminded I need to be more consistent with Reuben's discipline
9748. Realizing I need to discipline Gabriel
9749. Learning how to talk to kids at different stages
9750. Introducing kids to "The Lord of the Rings"
9751. Jim making dinner
9752. Yummy Pasta with spinach, tomato and onion
9753. Mountain Dew
9754. Having a Goodreads account
9755. Getting all of my family command center calendar and papers printed out
9756. The Confident Mom doing planning for me
9757. Wonderful reminders
9758. Desiring to be more diligent this year
9759. Desiring to not waste time
9760. Thinking about what God may do
9761. Enjoying talking about planning
9762. Time to read a little
9763. Kids playing Mario Kart with Jim
9764. Becca making popcorn in her new whirly pop
9765. Sending some emails
9766. Planning for the next Childbirth Conversation class
9767. Seeing God working in preparation
9768. Finding out we can use the 930 for the class
9769. Thinking about big things that need to get done
9770. Hearing from Jackie
9771. The flexibility of homeschooling
9772. Really desiring to seek the Lord in homeschooling
9773. Being reminded that the most important thing I can teach my children is salvation through Christ
9774. Not getting hit by the person going the wrong way on Oak and Shelby
9775. God's protection
9776. Reuben's hugs and kisses
9777. Gabriel's hugs
9778. Gabriel being a good eater
9779. Gabriel starting to talk
9780. Gabriel saying yes and please at dinner
9781. Reuben saying yes very clearly in response to a question
9782. Reuben and Gabriel playing together
9783. Watching Reuben mimic Gabriel
9784. Gabriel copying what Reuben says
9785. Finding time to meet with Jackie
9786. Jamey going to bed early
9787. Jamey going to sleep quickly
9788. Hanging out
9789. Finishing a section in a book
9790. The other 3 going to bed smoothly
9791. Kids getting sleep
9792. Putting our family command center notebook together
9793. Talking with Jim about a general schedule
9794. Planning to be more purposeful this year
9795. Praying for more discipline in our home
9796. Making lists of major things that need to be done
9797. Thinking about things that I need to do every week/month
9798. Desiring to plan my days
9799. Jim desiring to plan
9800. Desiring to be more diligent in planning together
9801. Making a beginning list of books I want to read
9802. Talking about what books we might like to read together
9803. Wanting to read a variety of books
9804. Growing in my desire to read
9805. Getting the January calendar filled out
9806. Almost being ready for the new year
9807. The grace that we don't have to be 100% ready on January 1st
9808. Time to prepare for next week
9809. God's grace
9810. Growing with Jim
9811. Jim and I learning the same things together
9812. God moving us more together
9813. Playing hangman
9814. Time to relax after planning
9815. Snuggling
9816. Going to bed
9817. Waking up at 6
9818. Getting a jump start on attempting to wake early
9819. Gabriel doing well with being woke up
9820. Eating breakfast early
9821. Becca making eggs and grits
9822. Cheese grits
9823. Talking with Becca
9824. Time to pray
9825. Preparing with God for the day
9826. Reading Revelation
9827. Reading the whole Bible in a year
9828. Discussing God's Word
9829. Wrestling with how to read Revelation
9830. Thinking about God's character
9831. Realizing all of God's characteristics are equal
9832. God pushing us
9833. God's continuous grace
9834. God revealing Himself
9835. Desiring to be more like Christ
9836. Talking with my kids about God
9837. Reminding them of their need for Jesus
9838. Being reminded of my own need for Jesus
9839. Talking about what Jesus desires of us
9840. Hearing the kids talk to each other
9841. Kids beginning to voice right from wrong
9842. Asking questions
9843. Learning to ask more questions
9844. Learning to listen more
9845. Getting a few things in the mail
9846. Having more worker addresses
9847. Desiring to serve our workers better
9848. Growing in how to serve better
9849. Thinking of how to plan cards better for the year
9850. Jamey helping Gabriel learn to walk
9851. Jamey growing in being a big brother
9852. Reuben sleeping until after 8 am
9853. Enjoying a good morning together
9854. Watching Jamey and Lillian grow in learning
9855. Left overs for lunch
9856. Salad
9857. Conversation at lunch
9858. Growing in conversing
9859. Jamey following patterns in a book
9860. Hanging out as a family after lunch
9861. Gabriel napping
9862. Snuggling with Reuben and Lillian
9863. Reuben talking to me
9864. Solving the Box top mystery quickly
9865. Dark Chocolate M&Ms
9866. Figuring things out in a timely manner
9867. God always looking out for us
9868. Learning how to communicate better
9869. Desiring to communicate effectively
9870. Being reminded that all things are possible with God
9871. Having the Bible at hand
9872. God's Word being written for us
9873. Jesus being our saving grace
9874. Going on a double date with Billy and Gidget
9875. Becca keeping all our kids
9876. Good conversations
9877. Being able to explain things
9878. Finding out we are really not that different
9879. Hearing fun stories of people growing up differently
9880. The beauty of differences
9881. God using differences to grow and teach us
9882. Seeing "The Hobbit"
9883. The movie being really good
9884. The movie ending on a crazy note
9885. Something to look forward to next December
9886. Seeing Dr. Pierre with his kids
9887. All of us enjoying the movie
9888. All wondering how much we missed in the book
9889. Talking about denominational differences
9890. Learning more together
9891. Being able to teach
9892. Little Debbie cherry cordials
9893. Not getting too hungry during the movie
9894. Making plans to meet Gidget tomorrow
9895. Silas and Margo doing really well while we were out
9896. Billy letting Jim borrow a game
9897. Enjoying being together
9898. Silas saying he did not want to leave (Seriously this is huge!)
9899. All the kids having fun together
9900. Reuben taking a nap
9901. Lillian getting a nap
9902. Pizza for dinner
9903. Thinking about the next time we can all hang out
9904. Lillian going to bed early
9905. Growing friendships
9906. Having friends who are eager to learn
9907. The power of God's Word
9908. People asking questions about God's Word
9909. Having a God who knows all things
9910. Not knowing all things
9911. God giving us wisdom
9912. Jamey practicing more drawing
9913. Finding an activity to help challenge Jamey
9914. Desiring to help my kids grow into who God has made them to be
9915. Time to do December/Year End evaluation
9916. Getting all 4 kids to bed smoothly
9917. Being able to go to a New Year party with Jim
9918. Candles
9919. Beautiful lighting
9920. Meeting new people
9921. Interesting conversation
9922. Seeing most of our community group
9923. Catching up
9924. Explaining and teaching things
9925. Laughing
9926. Games
9927. Friendly competition
9928. Dancing
9929. Seeing people I do not get to see often
9930. Practicing talking in code
9931. Mountain Dew
9932. Yummy snacks
9933. Talking about God working
9934. Hearing about the Cross Conference
9935. Being reminded of how much I still need to learn God's Word
9936. Realizing how easily I take having a copy of the Bible for granted
9937. Discussing how technology is not making us smarter
9938. Being reminded that I really need to practice memorizing
9939. The freedom that we have in Christ
9940. Learning from other people
9941. Jim having fun
9942. Jim catching up with friends
9943. Sharing our lives
9944. Making it until midnight
9945. Toasting in the New Year
9946. Sparkling grape juice
9947. Discussing time to meet with Andy and Shannon
9948. Teaching Hilary basic cha-cha step
9949. Donna remembering meeting me last year
9950. Mercy
9951. Driving home safely
9952. Nothing major happening in the neighborhood
9953. Going to bed immediately
9954. Being able to get out of bed
9955. Meeting Gidget for coffee
9956. Being able to get a black and white half caff mocha
9957. Delving into Genesis
9958. Being challenged
9959. God's grace being evident everywhere
9960. Learning to see God's bigger picture
9961. Learning to trust more even when I don't understand
9962. Learning new things
9963. Discussing different ideas
9964. Working through things together
9965. Being able to say "I don't know"
9966. Learning interesting things
9967. Encouraging others in the Truth
9968. Desiring to learn more about dying to self
9969. God's grace to explain things well
9970. A 3 hour conversation feeling like barely an hour
9971. Going deep
9972. Jim getting a lot of work done
9973. God
9974. Jim
9975. Jamey
9976. Lillian
9977. Reuben
9978. Gabriel
9979. The New Baby
9980. Daddy
9981. Mom
9982. Britney
9983. Rachel
9984. Becca
9985. Having a house to live in
9986. Having central heating and air
9987. Having access to technology when I need/want it
9988. Being able to see
9989. Being able to hear
9990. God giving me spiritual eyes
9991. Faith
9992. Being able to read and write
9993. Living in a free country
9994. Sandwiches
9995. Having clean water to drink
9996. Having ice when I want it
9997. Having so many choices
9998. Salvation
9999. Growing in Thankfulness
10000. God constantly changing and growing me

Getting 10000 blessings in a year was a tedious process, but I am so thankful I did it. It has really helped me to see God working in the little everyday things and helped me to see the world through God's eyes and not my own. I would encourage you to also count your blessings. It's a great practice to get your attention off of yourself and back on God and others, making us more like Jesus!