Monday, June 30, 2014

June Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! God has given me a passion to devour the Word!
  • Memorize verses with the kids - We are not learning anything new currently
  • 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 have 10-14 down, Have not even worked on this in June
  • Go out for a date once a month- We have been on at least 1 a week! 
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes, went overnight to Lexington for our 10th anniversary
  • Read 3 books together this year- This month we read "When Sinners Say 'I Do'" together
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Sort of, getting better at it
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- Some, but not a lot. Right now Jim and I are working on making our marriage 1st priority, so this will come later
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Yes
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- Don't think this happened this month
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Wrote in a couple
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Did nothing with this during June
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Did not do this 
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this. God has been really working on me and helping me to do better in this area
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- This may have been too, lofty of a goal. As of right now I might get 1 more in this year
  • 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! This month I read "A Novel Idea" and "Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God"
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! I've done this and more
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Nope
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Did a little editing one day
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- Did not get any planning done this month
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes! Had a nice meeting with Marie
  • Blog 3 days a week- Not at all. I've wanted to, but my thoughts are really scattered in the busyness. Hoping to get some down time soon
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Unable to do this this month, hoping to start back soon
  • Maintain weight until birth- Gained more than I wanted, but less than previous pregnancies!
  • Lose weight after giving birth- Beginning to lose the weight, but not being super active about it at the moment
June has been back and forth. Some days have been wonderful and others hard. We are learning together to trust God and His word completely and fully, His design for marriage and family and how to walk faithfully. I'm thankful to be excelling in the goals that are the most important priorities, by God's grace. I pray that will continue and that I will be able to add the others back in as God allows or completely toss those that need to go. I'm thankful to be learning so much and hope next month to share more of what God is teaching me with you.

What was June like for you?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Devouring Scripture

Recently, God has greatly increased my hunger for wanting to know Him and His word so much. Having 5 kids who demand a lot of my attention, I was trying to figure out how to read a lot of Bible and still do what I need to do. Enter pumping. I've always had issues with my milk starting at 6 months, but this time my body seemed to be decreasing early so I decided to pump and feed to see what my body was doing. This has been the best thing for me right now because while I pump I can read at least a chapter.

To make sure I'm learning a lot I'm reading a little bit of everywhere. I was already working through the Old Testament so first pump of the day I start there, currently in 2 Kings. (I'm learning so much about God in these books. If you have not read the Old Testament recently, I recommend you go do it!) During my second pump time I read the Psalm of the day. The formula is the day of the month and then add 30. On the 31st read Psalm 119. I only read one a day working through systematically, so today I am on 58. For round 3 I am working through Romans. That is a great book right there! The 4th time I'm working through the Gospels, right now in Matthew.

So that's my way of devouring Scripture right now. I know most people are in a different place and one day I don't have this time, so how do you devour Scripture?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Novel Idea

This book is a great resource for anyone desiring to write and publish a novel. Though geared toward Christian/Inspirational fiction writers, anyone can get good information and advice. I really appreciate that it is written by many people in the business so you hear many perspectives. I also like that the sections are short and easy to read. I highly recommend this book. I know I will be referencing it many times as I edit and write my own books.

5 stars

Friday, June 27, 2014

When Sinners Say "I Do" by Dave Harvey

If you even desire to be married you should read this book. Grounded in Scripture and pointing readers to the Gospel, it helps you to see yourself for who you are and your spouse for who they are and how God desires to reveal Himself in your marriage.

We are sinners and inevitably we will sin against each other. When this happens what should we do? Marriage is designed to sanctify us and make us more like Christ by loving each other and forgiving as Christ has forgiven us. This book reminds us that we are the worst of sinners and Christ has forgiven us every sin we have committed against Him. It encourages us to look at ourselves in light of the cross and point each other to the cross. Every chapter is a reminder of the grace we have been given and how we are expected to give it to others.

This book will not fix your marriage; only Jesus can do that. But it will point you to Jesus so you can have a deeper relationship with your spouse; the type of marriage God has designed. Marriage is God's design, after all, and He is the one who guides us in living out our marriage with grace.

This book is a 5 star book. Read this book and then read it again. I'm sure you will learn something new every time you read it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ten Years Later

It's a hard to believe that 10 years ago, today, I said "I Do" to my best friend. At 20 and 21, we were young adults seeking God's wisdom as to what He would have us do in the life He had given us together.

Our first four years were spent in nursing school, traveling to Moldova and hearing that initial call to international mission work, and working as nurses at Northside
Hospital in Atlanta. Just before our 5th anniversary we welcomed our first born, Jamey, into our family. Later that year I was called home and became a full time homemaker. Just before our 6th Anniversary we welcomed Lillian. Two months later we packed up our house, following the next step to international work, and moved to Louisville, KY.

These last four years have been far different than we expected. We came with a 5 year plan that is still changing as we go. Jim has been going to school and working to provide for our family, changing as needed to fit the family schedule best each semester. I have been at home, teaching our children, and finding ways to serve the Body and reach out to others around me. We have added Reuben, Gabriel and Samuel to our clan. It has been a crazy busy four years, but God has been teaching us and growing us in Christ-likeness from the moment we arrived.

Looking back at the last ten years is amazing and wonderful but also challenging. It is a reminder that marriage is not about making us happy or getting what we want, but it is a tool that God uses to grow us in Christ-likeness every moment of every day. To really love another is to put aside what you want and to sacrifice for the betterment of another. It is to treat them the way you desire to be treated. It is giving unconditionally of yourself and to seek their good.

I know that when we wed a decade ago I loved Jim very much. But today, I know that I love him far more than I ever thought I could because of the work Christ has done in me. I pray God will do exponentially more in our marriage in the next ten years and all the years after, so that when God calls me home and can be as much like Christ as I can be on this side of Heaven.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Jim! I love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper

I cannot speak highly enough of this book and the way it spoke to my heart. The stories of these women greatly touched me and were timely for things that have been going on in my life. I learned so much from the women who lived faithfully where they were doing what God had called them to do, even in the midst of pain, suffering and everyday life. God spoke directly to my heart about His character and His ways.

Three of the women in this book were missionaries in other countries, which encouraged me greatly as one day our family hopes to work in an international context. What I really appreciated was that two of them were rejected by mission boards and still managed to get where God had called them by His grace and provision. It reminds me God is bigger than a mission board and if He wants you overseas, He will get you there.

All of them suffered greatly, but two in particular stood out to me as I think of the things God has lead me through in various ways and how He has and is using the hard things to help me know Him better and grow in Christ-likeness. It also has helped me to evaluate, what am I really willing to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom?

I was sadly disappointed by the section on Sarah Edwards. I felt like it really focused on Jonathan Edwards and did not really show what Mrs. Piper was attempting to show (being faithful in the mundane), but you might disagree. Because of this I would give it 4 1/2 stars.

I need to read this book again and again. It's a relatively quick read, and I would recommend it to anyone, even men. There is so much to learn from these pages about God and life.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May Blessings

I need to get in the habit of writing my blessings as I go. As I shared yesterday in my May goals it has been a difficult month and so I am struggling to remember all the good that has happened, but I know God has blessed us. So, here is what I am thankful for this month.

  • Watching Jim comfort and weep with a Brother who was hurting
  • Jamey growing in his love of reading, writing and art
  • Lillian turning 4 years old!
  • Lillian learning to do homemaking activities
  • Reuben getting better at dancing
  • Jamey growing in being a big brother, watching him play with all his siblings and comfort Samuel
  • Reuben sharing with Gabriel
  • Gabriel holding hands when we pray at the table
  • Reuben growing in communication skills
  • Gabriel learning to dance
  • All of the kids exercising with Becca
  • Learning about suffering for Christ
  • Samuel turning 1 month old
  • Gabriel turning 18 months (I forgot to write a post)
  • Jim turning 31
  • Getting back into reading the Bible
  • Going to Book Club
  • Having Sisters I can talk to who encourage and pray for me
  • The power of prayer
  • God helping Jim and I get back on track in making our marriage our priority
  • Good intense conversations
  • Community Group
  • Andy and Shannon Robinette
  • Amanda Murrell
  • Dawn
  • Ashley Wells
  • God's sovereignty
  • God answering prayers 
  • Being able to encourage Hilary
  • God using everything
  • God bringing revival in our home
I know there is more than this, and I remembered more than I thought. Perhaps it's because God uses all things to bless us, even when they are challenging.

How has God blessed you?