Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lessons learned from the Avengers

A couple of weeks ago we went to the movies, something we seldom do because they are so expensive!  But Drummer had been wanting to see the Avengers so we decided to use a gift card and enjoy an afternoon together. 

I'm not real into super hero movies, but every once in awhile I'm surprised.  This was one of those times.  All of us really enjoyed the movie and I even came away with some "lessons" that we talked about as a family later on.


First, teamwork is essential
.  Whether you are talking about a thirteen year old baseball team, a family unit, or any other group, working together is what gets the job done.  Each person (or superhero as the case may be) brings a unique and significant element or gifting to the table, and without each one, the team isn't complete, and cannot function to its optimal level.


But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.  1Cor. 12:18

Having the right tools is also an important aspect.  Iron man needed that outfit to succeed.  We each have tools at our disposal. The Word, prayer, fellowship and of course we have outlets like our blogs, etc.  Using these tools we can certainly make a difference in the world around us as well as our own homes.  Having and using the right tools is everything to our success.


A good attitude.  One that never gives up is also imperative to the process.  We need to have the attitude that will not give up...not in the face of the toughest situation.


I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 3:14

Along with a good attitude is a sense of humor.  There is just something therapeutic about a good laugh.  I actually have a friend who cracks me up like no one else.  I love to laugh with her!  And if we can't laugh at ourselves, we are taking life way too seriously.  By the way, Iron man cracked me up more than once with his comments.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.  Prov. 17:22

Finally, my favorite line in the whole movie came at the beginning from who else, the villain.  He said: 

"I am burdened with purpose".  
Whoa.  I have asked myself - Am I burdened with purpose?  What am I doing in my life that is making a difference? Is my attitude reflective of that purpose? And am I using the tools God has given me to accomplish the goal?

It's weird to me how a Superhero movie can provoke these kind of thoughts.  Did you see the movie?  What did you think?  


Are you burdened with purpose?

Lori

Linking up with:
Sheila at Wifey Wednesday 
Angela at Good Morning Girls 
Courtney at Women Living Well 

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Testimony



My story starts in a very small town where I grew up the eldest of three in an average working-class family.  Being the eldest, and having been blessed with a Type-A, perfectionist personality, I quickly fell into the “Performance” mindset.  I was the proverbial straight A student, valedictorian of my senior class (never mind there were only 28 of us), and captain of the cheerleaders.  I didn’t have much in the way of friends because I simply couldn’t stand all of the girl-drama, but I had a steady boyfriend and spent most of my time with him or a good book.

With the exception of my Confirmation, I went to church only sporadically, usually Christmas and Easter.  I don’t remember much about it really.

My Senior year, people in my life started to die - two uncles, a grandmother, two friend’s fathers, and a life-long friend.  By the end of spring I was emotionally exhausted.  I’d applied to a few colleges, but never had I accepted any of their acceptances. 

As we were preparing for graduation, I started to panic a bit, not know what I was going to do.  And what would everyone think - “The Valedictorian doesn’t have a plan?”  Performing kicked in…

We made a few calls, and one of the Colleges that had accepted me agreed that I could still attend, get the grant money promised, and start in August.  Whew…I dodged that bullet.  BUT (there’s always a but isn’t there?) it was a CHRISTIAN college, so I decided I’d go for a year and transfer.

Fast forward a few months and I’m at college and I realized I wasn’t all that prepared.  I had breezed through high school, but college was another story.  It was hard work, even for me.  One Friday night in October, the 21st, a friend of mine decided I needed a study break, and took me to a small concert on campus.  I was broke, but it was free so I decided to go.  I don’t remember the name of the group or anything they sang, but I remember the feeling I had.  I was overcome by a strange sense of peace. 

Before I knew it, I was standing up during an altar call, and saying the sinner’s prayer.  That was it.  No fireworks, just peace…un-imaginable, indescribable  peace.

That was the start of my walk with an amazing God

I had a couple of good, supportive friends at school who supported and mentored me for the next several months.  Which low and behold I would need desperately come August.

The summer after my Freshman year, I worked a lot of hours as a cashier at a local grocery store.  Like most college students, I needed to earn the extra money. 

In August, I went with my family to Washington DC to watch my siblings in a marching band competition.  At some point I ended up sleeping, A LOT in the hotel room.  I remember sleeping all the way home, and then some more when I was at home in my own bed.  I went to the Doctor to find out I had strep, and mono.  Great.  Lots of meds and rest.  A day or two later, I woke up and discovered my feet were numb.  I wasn’t sleeping in a funny position, but I still didn’t think much of it.

The next time I woke up (several hours later)  my knees and legs were tingly.  Now I was nervous.  Mom took me to the doctor, but there in Small-town, no one knew what was going on.  By the next day I couldn’t feel anything.  Nothing.  Nada. Now, I was scared.  But I knew to pray, so I did.  And I called some of those friends who supported and mentored me, and they prayed, but still the doctors didn’t know what the problem was.

We went to the hospital the next town over, and after a battery of blood tests, and a terrifying spinal-tap, they determined I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  It even sounds bad.  Basically, I ended up in bed for six weeks, paralyzed from head to toe.  They didn’t have the treatments back then that they do today, so basically I was given steroids and told to rest.  Yeah, what else am I going to do? 

Well, I prayed.  And I rested.  And I prayed some more.

Fast forward to January, and I went back to college with a walking stick and lots of physical therapy appointments.  But within the year, I was back to normal, and to God be the Glory, because doctors really didn’t know what the outcome would be.  I remember comments like – “You may not walk normal again.”  And, “You may not be able to carry or deliver children.” 

Well, I walk fine, and eight years later, I conceived and carried the first of two children full term both with natural deliveries.  That was 15 years ago!
 
I’ve thought about these events lately and feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for the God who made me, who saved me, who healed me, and has allowed me the opportunity to raise two beautiful children and work every day to advance His Kingdom in a variety of ways.

What’s your story?
Lori

Linking with Jen @ the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Birds Of The Air


  Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matt 6:26

Joining up today with The Sunday Community and Scripture & a Snapshot.

Lori






Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 4 - Practice


This challenge is really, well, challenging.  It’s making me think in a whole different way about who I am and what I do with my writing.

Not too long ago, I began hearing the Lord whisper “You need to begin writing.”  And as I began to ponder what that looked like, and how I might accomplish it, I began to hear other voices as well…things like, “What do you possibly have to say?”  and “Who would ever want to read your story?”

Then HE showed me this scripture – Psalm 45:1
“ My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready (skillful) writer.”

HE gave me a story.  HE wants me to write it.  Maybe it will benefit others, and maybe it’s just for me, so that I realize the significance of Enjoying the Process.  Now I understand.  That’s my purpose in writing.

I have people very close to me who have an aversion to Social Media.  They just don’t see it’s value.  And I respect that.  Yet I am drawn to this outlet.  I know GOD said to write.  During a lengthy Bible Study lesson last week, I began once again to question why I am doing this, writing.   
 
I can assure you, the very premise of what I’m writing, is my story.  It’s me.  I’m not creating something that sounds good or is funny.  All of it is unscripted…in fact my family often says that writers in Hollywood couldn’t write the stuff that happens.  That’s the truth.  And in my life, it’s no different.  

Anyway, I came home that night and ironically enough, I got a notification on my phone…a comment on my blog post. 
 Hey Lori! I found your blog today through Women Living Well Wednesdays. :) I needed this blog entry TODAY. Thank you so much for holding me accountable with love and encouragement. This week I have been struggling with my perspective about this and didn't even realize it. So, THANKS! :)

THAT my friend is another reason why I write.  For me, it’s really not about a huge readership, or skyrocketing stats, money or any of that stuff.  It’s about me writing my story and giving God all the Glory!  And if like this reader, my writing, my story strikes a chord or helps someone who is going through a similar situation, then all the praise goes to HIM!!! 

So, how about you ~ Why do you write?
Lori

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baseball & Rainbows


This is my very first #OneBeautifulThing post that I am linking up with Brooke over at Surprised by Life.  If you haven’t discovered her already, you really should go take a peek. 

This has been quite a year for baseball.  Drummer (13) decided to play on the modified baseball team at his middle school even though he was already committed to the travel team he made last fall.  We talked at length before he tried out for the modified team, knowing that the time commitment was going to be huge to do both teams.  But we decided to move ahead anyway.

Shortly after making the team, he had an accident.  He was goofing around in the hallway at school with a couple of friends and fell on his left shoulder.  The pain was pretty bad and we had it looked at.  Dr. Tom put him in a sling for a few days, but after that, the pain was no better.  Off to the Ortho we went.  Turns out his shoulder and collar bone were fine.  It was the SC joint, or something like that.  It was swollen and painful.

The effect it had on baseball was the basically bench-warming.

This particular day in the photo - he was ready to play and coach put him in as pitcher.  That’s where he is.  On the mound.  And it was raining most of the game. 

We looked up at one point and saw the rainbow.  Actually there was a double rainbow, but my iPhone didn’t do it justice.

The rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant.  After the flood, HE used the rainbow as a sign of the covenant between HIM and man.
"The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] on the earth."  Gen. 9:16
I really saw that rainbow over drummer on the baseball mound as a sign of the covenant HE has with Drummer.  I talked to him about God always being there and caring about how he plays ball, and even that he plays.  God cares about what Drummer cares about.  And right now, that is baseball.

He has since played a number of games and returned to better-than-normal.  God truly restored his shoulder area.  And HE instilled a love for the game in Drummer that really wasn’t there prior to the injury.

What have you wondered if God cared about?

Lori

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 2 - Believing I'm a Writer



Today’s challenge – to believe I’m a writer.  Truth be told, I’ve never really given it much thought, until God did some nudging in the last few months when I had all but shut this blog down.

I’ve really felt Him encouraging me to WRITE.  Therefore I am writing. 

I love this that Jeff said…
"We speak things that are not as though they were. Because we know deep in our hearts that we are, in fact, writers. Yes, we question ourselves and wonder if we’ll ever measure up. But deep in our souls, we know we were made to do this.
It’s time to stop doubting and believe it. Don’t do this lightly. Do it courageously. There’s more riding on this than you realize."

Honestly, I don’t know what is riding on this, but I know that HE is still nudging, therefore, I write…

Lori

Rising while it is yet night...



The Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study has been challenging for me this week.
 
Proverbs 31:15  “She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.”

The part that I have been struggling with is the first part…”she rises while it is yet night”.  I am not a morning person.  I have never proclaimed to be.  And every time I have tried to create that particular habit, I end up not “rising while it is yet night.”

I asked God why I can’t get up in the morning like I want to…you know, the whole “my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak theory.”  He asked me to write down in my notebook that morning’s events…

6:00am – my alarm went off, and I shut it off and rather than get up right then, I chose to stay in bed for another half hour.

6:30am – I realize I have to get up now…kids will be up soon, and things need to get done.  But now I feel behind.  And my feet hadn’t even hit the floor yet!!  I brushed my teeth and went to the kitchen to start breakfasts and lunches…

7:45am – Kids left for school and I head down to the basement to exercise.

8:30amI shower, eat my breakfast, plan the to-do list for the day, rotate 2 loads of laundry, finish a small pile of ironing, do some basement organizing as I’m waiting for the dryer to finish, and a host of other things I can’t even remember

10:00am – I sit down to have a quiet time with God

Regardless of how I look at it…I chose to sleep that first half hour and put God last, after so many other things.  Ouch!  Not exactly the Proverbs 31 Woman…

But today was different.  Today I was awake with God at 5:45am, and out of bed having my Bible study at 6am.  And let me tell you.  I am peaceful.  I know that my day is God’s, and that I am able to accomplish everything HE sets before me, and I am fine with that. 

Is my to-do list done? Nope.  But I am sitting here writing.  And that is truly a step in the right direction…

Am I Enjoying the Process?  Oh yeah, painful as it may be, because I know that I know, that as I put HIM first, all things work together for my good...

Lori

Linked up with: WIWW and Wifey



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 1 - I Am A Writer...


Today I started the Great Writer Series

I hesitated for days to even sign up for the challenge, but finally I just did it.  I kept hearing this voice that said: "Who are you and what could you possibly have to say that anyone would want to read?"  



Well, apparently I have something to say, because I couldn't NOT join in with Jeff Goins and about 800 other people learning what it takes to become a Great Writer.  (And yes, I know that's a double negative up there, but that's what it was...)


Today the challenge was...simply to DECLARE that
"I AM A WRITER." 
Yeah right.  Simple my foot.  I mentioned it to my husband, and his response..."yep, you are..."  Alrighty then....


So, I'm a writer. 
♥Lori

Ps...My About You page on both this blog and my twitter account say I'm a Writer, so it must be true...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Resetting My System

I recently realized something.  As I was on my unplanned boggy break these past few months I also let some other things slip a little. Things like planning my days, planning our menus, reading books, and even my quiet times with the LORD were sporadic at best.


So, I've taken a few steps to get back on track.


1- I started the Proverbs 31 summer Bible study with Courtney over at Good Morning Girls.  Powerful.  I am really enjoying it.


2- I've begun getting up early again, so that my quiet time and exercise are sure to be had before the day gets into full swing.


3-I started using the Personal Assistant that Amy Bayliss created.  I used the one that could be modified and customized it for me.  I like the daily routine and the menu columns but I added things like the 3 in 30 goals for the month and books, and blog stuff at the bottom.  I actually keep all family appointments and calendar stuff in my phone, so this is really the vehicle to keep my day on track.  It's way too easy to be a side-tracked home executive, and this really helps....


4- I set up some goals.  This was a biggee!!
I love love love the 3 in 30 concept.  Set three small goals in one month's time and completing them is more likely.  I took it a step further and set up reading goals as well. 
If I don't write it down, it won't happen.


June 3 in 30 Goals
1- June photo a day. Taken with my phone mostly. 
2- Organize the basement family room. It's a m.e.s.s.
3- Purge / reorganize our filing system.  We're trying to downsize and I KNOW there is a bunch of files that are no longer needed.


3 Books in 30 Days
1-"You Are a Writer" by Jeff Goins. (education)
2- "The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex" by Sheila Wray Gregoire (edification)
3- "Longing" by Karen Kingsbury (entertainment)
***Proverbs 31 Bible Study***


Dave Ramsey once tweeted "the condition of your desktop reflects the condition of your mind.  Stacks of crap on your desk reveals a cluttered, inefficient mind."


I am finding that staying on track with the events of my day and not letting things "stack up" is really a key to enjoying the process of life.  If things at home are out of order, then my brain gets out of whack, until finally I just find myself unable to function at all.


Do  you have a useful tool for managing your day?  Share it in the comments, I'd love to hear how you stay on track... 

Lori

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Return to Blogging...

After a rather lengthy hiatus from blogging, I am returning to my little space in the blogosphere with a new perspective for sharing all that the Lord has been and continues to do.

I named my blog "Enjoying the Process."  That was because I often find myself saying the phrase "what a process". 

What I didn't realize at the time was that God was really speaking to me through that...through my own words (often times spoken in frustration).  We really do frame our world with our words don't we?
"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." (Chuck Swindoll). 
That 90% is the process.  That's the part that is really up to us...how we react to life.

Enjoy = to have a good time; to have for one's use, benefit or lot; to take pleasure or satisfaction in.


Process = something going on; a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result


Enjoying the process (my definition) = to take pleasure in the gradual changes that lead toward a particular result - l.i.f.e.

That's how I want to live my life.  Actually taking pleasure in the everyday stuff.  And that my friend is the kind of stuff I want to share.  Those changes.  Those responses.  My hope is that by documenting what is going on in my life, it will resonate with you.


Am I there yet?  Nope.


Am I pressing on toward the call? Yep.

 

"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians 3:14

Won't you join me, and together we can move forward in our own walks as well as be an encouragement to one another as we
Enjoy the Process.


♥Lori