Monday, April 8, 2013

I have chosen you...

Hello Monday!

The sun is shining (for a change) and it's the beginning of a new week.

Today's #hellomornings passage was Isaiah 41:8-10. 

Just about every time I've read that passage, I've stopped and found such hope in verse 10 - "Fear not, for I am with you".  It is just so comforting.   As believers in Christ, He is truly with us and we have nothing to fear (only fear itself).  After all, "No weapon formed against us can prosper." Right?

But today.  

Today, I stopped and enjoyed the second half of verse 9, the Promise that come before the "Fear not".  
"You are my servant, I have chosen you 
and have not cast you away:"

I find such pleasure in being a Servant of God...co-laboring with Him to see His purposes and plans accomplished here on earth as they are in Heaven.  I don't see it as a "servant" in the sense that I am the "hired hand".  I mean sometimes it may feel like that, but we can't trust feelings now can we?

But the very next phrase is what is blowing my mind... "I have chosen you and have not cast you away."  He. Chose. Me.  He chose you.  He saw so much potential in us that He chose us for the specific tasks and circumstances we find ourselves in this very day.

We can't take that lightly.

And example from today...

When I went to sleep last night, I had every intention of spending today working on my blog.  I knew I had the whole morning to write, tweak, etc.  Then daylight hit, and so did laundry, kids heading back to school, #helloexercise - walking 2 miles, and the phone calls that needed to be made.  All stuff that needed to get done before a lunch date at 1pm.

I have two responses to this scenario.  The first is frustration.  Not getting to do what I had planned, what I wanted was frustrating.  I'm not gonna lie I may even have pouted a little.

The second just struck me actually, through these words: 
"I have chosen you and have not cast you away..."

I have been chosen for this day and hour.

I've been chosen to create atmosphere in my home.

But I've also been chosen to write here in this space I call home.  

He didn't cast me away, and neither did the cares of life this morning.  He loves me too much for that.
It simply gave me something to think about and share with you, dear reader.

Have you felt left behind or cast aside lately?  

Take heart - He has chosen you and has not cast you aside. 
He loves you too much for that!

Have a great week!!
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Friday, April 5, 2013

After


Sometimes the build up of expectations leads to a dramatic let-down...After.

I've seen it so many times.  Experienced too many times to count.  

The struggle just to enjoy the moment...the planning...the actual moment...not fearing or worrying about the After...the clean up...the what comes next thoughts.

I used to be a wedding coordinator and one of the things I constantly reminded my brides was just that...enjoy the moment.  Enjoy the feeling of that moment...enjoy the joy and anticipation.

The after will take care of itself.  
Will there be things to deal with? Sure.  
Will there be struggles and disappointment?  You betcha.  

But in this moment...enjoy it.  
The after will take care of itself.  

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  Matt. 6:34

That's how I try to view After now.  Enjoying, the moment, knowing that God sees everything I am facing and that I will be facing, and He has all things worked out for my good.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the Five-Minute Friday Writers.
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Hello Monday!

Hello Monday, April 1st!  Can someone explain to me how that might have happened?  April already? I know that the prophets are all talking about acceleration in this hour, but c'mon - April? Already?


Hello Easter Weekend - and the end of the Lenten Season.  It was different this year.  I think it may have started back in January when our church did a corporate fast - so many things changed...in me.  

THEN, I was blessed to get to read though Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy.  Ahhhh...it truly changed my thought process and set me up for an awesome Easter Week.  By the way, I highly recommend this book!  Kris has such a beautiful way of weaving thoughts on refinement together - it's like you're sitting talking to her over a cup of tea and she's putting words right to the thoughts in your heart.  Honestly, it's a book that was meant for the Lenten Season, but it's applicable anytime you're ready to go to the next level with Jesus.  Pick it up at Amazon here.



Friday evening, Good Friday, we went to a wonderful celebration in our region.  Only about 15,000 people joined in for a night of praise and worship, a few sermonettes by various local pastors, and communion together.  It was tremendously special.  


Then Sunday, Easter, was a wonderful family day.  We spent the morning at church with our church  family, and then we came home.  It was just us, and it was lovely.  We followed through on a few traditions...baskets (which I actually made this year aren't they adorable?), a photo shoot after church on our back porch, a nice lasagne dinner, and naps...

Hello Spring Break - you wouldn't know it by the temperatures, and the snow flurries every so often, but the calendar says it's spring and the kiddos are home for the week, so it must be.


Hello my first Twitter Party!  I joined up with a whole bunch of ladies last night for my first Twitter party!  It was a hoot - I got to meet several new ladies, and even pick up an early bird ticket to the Raising Generations Today - Hope Conference next Spring.    Woot Woot! 

I'm saying "Hello" over at Lisa Leonard's today!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Do You Remember? #FMF

Remember?  

After 18 years together, My Man and I, we say that a lot....  

Do you remember...?

-how sunny it was before and then the massive amount snowfall after, on our wedding day?

-the way we tried to sneak off early in the morning to deliver our first babe?

-or how only 11 weeks later we packed up everything we owned and move 2000 miles away?

-or how we moved back home only weeks before the birth of baby #2?

-or how we moved 9 times in 8 years?

-or how many job transitions it took to find out we should run our own business?

-or how about home-, private-, public- and even charter-schooling our kids?

And through it all - Do you remember how incredibly faithful God has been?  

How we have never lacked for anything?

I remember...
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Linking up with Five Minute Friday



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My return to intentional living...#oneword

Yep, that's my One Word for 2013. Intentional.  

You really wouldn't know it by looking here at my little ole blog would you?  
Even this post is a little late.

These past two weeks have actually set me up for this post though.  I call it ...

"My Return To 
Intentional Living" 

Because somewhere along the way, I lost my way, my intentional way.  Maybe it was caring for the child with the fractured knee who was immobilized and on crutches for five weeks.  

Or maybe it was caring for the same child who caught a horrible case of the flu and was out of commission for a week.  

Or maybe it was the sinus infection I had for a month, the same one I shared unknowingly with my daughter.  

I'm not sure where, but along the way, all intentional living went out the proverbial window.

And here I sit.  Looking at dust thick enough to write in, and plants dry as a bone.  Laundry done only sporadically and ironing stacking up yet again.  It's truly been a season of "putting out the fires" instead of preventing them.

But last week I had an aha moment.  It was that moment of realization - just how far off we had gotten. Nothing earth shattering, just not intentional.

So I "took stock" and made a list of where things had gone astray...

Sadly, at the top of the list - My Quiet time and #hellomornings routine.  Sickness had robbed me of sleep and my time in the mornings.

Meal planning.  What's that again?  It's been so long, I'm not sure I remember what to do.  I've been in the "oh we need that? I'll stop on my way home" mode for weeks now.

Family finances.  Oh man.  This one makes me cringe.  Thankfully, my haphazard receipt tracking has not caused any late fees or penalties, but all I can do is shake-my-head.

Blogging.  Reading.  Household Projects.  All undone.

Looking at that list, I could get a little lot depressed and even more discouraged.  

But instead, I'm choosing grace.  

I'm choosing to see this as yet another season, and another opportunity where I can learn to extend grace to myself as well as those around me.  We all need it.  Desperately.  Intentionally.

So I've stated the problem.  Here comes the solution....

This week was a #hellomornings restart!  Yay!  I've pulled my tail out of bed three days in. a. row. and studied the Word, connected with my Twitter #hmcsm group and more importantly, started the day with my Daddy.

I'm working on getting the kids back into a groove with chores.  We have a system set in place, we just have to get back into intentionally working said system.  Same with me and the dreaded menu.

Family finances are up to date as of this afternoon.  Now I just need to keep them that way...

I'm working on the writing/blogging aspect.  I've been writing posts by hand in my handy dandy composition notebook.  (Sounds like Blues clues - is that still around these days?) That way I can carry it with me and have it while I am in carpool, etc.  

I'm also working on the principle of 30 minutes...setting a timer and reading or working a project for 30 minutes and then moving on.  It's amazing what you can get done in 30 minutes.

And probably the most important change.  Bedtime.  For several days, I've worked hard to get myself in bed at 9:30pm so I could wind down and read for a few minutes before turning out the light at 10pm.  I NEED sleep, and with all that has gone on around here, my sleep cycle has seriously suffered.  
It's truly amazing what you can do when you are rested.

That my friends in my "One Word Update for March."  It's truly a picture of my word - Intentional.
How about you - how are you doing?

I'm linking up with Melanie for the One Word Linkup Party.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Five Things Happening Right Now...

Here's a five things that are happening right now....


**The business is booming, which is good.  It means Hubs is very busy, but also very happy!

**Both kids are running at full throttle all. the. time.  Which means we spend an inordinate amount of time in the car.  Thank goodness we like our vehicles.  Baseball hasn't even started yet either...oi!

**Actually, I just filled out the family calendar with the events I am aware of through the end of June (when both kids are done with school) and Lord have mercy, it's about to get CRAZY up in here!!

Declareconference.com
**I just bought my first ticket to a Women's / blogging conference!!  WooHoo!!!  I'll be heading to the Declare Conference at the beginning of August, and I'm terribly excited.  and nervous.  and excited.  
I know virtually no one, well except the ones I know virtually, so this is going to a stretch for this quiet, introvert.  But I'm going to get everything I can out of it.  Advice on preparation? Anyone?


**I'm reading It Starts with Food.  It's enlightening and scary what we put into our bodies on a daily basis.  i was in the grocery store yesterday and though I am only on chapter five or something of the book, I find myself reading more labels and wondering what some of those additives really are...
I'm seriously contemplating doing the Whole 30 elimination diet.  I really think that I need a "reset" in my system.  The headaches are back regularly now, and I just feel icky overall.



Okay, so that was kind of a stream of consciousness kind of thing.  
But hey, at least I wrote something... 
What is going on in your world?  
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

An Influential Women Linkup

I'm so excited to be linking up with the ladies over at Influence today for 
AN INFLUENTIAL WOMEN LINK-UP.  
I think it's such a cool idea to be able to get to know one another like this, and build community between members before the conference in the fall.  

...This is me...

Three things get-to-know me things:
1.  I've been blogging for awhile - since 2009.
BUT it's only been in the last few months 
where I've caught on to what God 
really had planned for it.

2.  I love the color purple...not sure why, but I do...

3.  I laugh. Alot.  Loud.  My Husband & kids say that's how they locate me at social functions...they follow the laughter.

What really drew me to the Influence Network was the concept of like-minded women who come together to support one another as each one endeavors to "make their online life mean something." 

It's such a cool concept!   
But actually becoming a member? That was God's idea...and I went with it!   

And I'm so excited to meet a whole bunch of you through this link-up!
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Monday, March 4, 2013

My Re-Branding Process

Re-branding, Re-working, Re-designing...I don't really know what to call it, but after much work, I feel like this little blog here has some direction.  WooHoo!

Background
Back in 2009 when I started Enjoy The Process, it was designed primarily to keep long distance family apprised of goings-on in our household.  We had a 10 and 12 year old a the time and things were changing quickly for us.  Over the years, the look or design has changed on a regular basis.  I think I thought if it was cute enough or looked just right, that it would be successful.  What I didn't grasp until recently was that it's what is behind the scenes that is the heart beat.  I've run hot and cold from day one, never really finding "my voice" and always ending up frustrated.  Until recently...

Re-Design
Late in 2012, I decided I needed to "invest" a little bit in my blog.  To date, I had always used free templates and did what I could.  I learned ALOT, don't get me wrong.  But now, I really felt like I needed to invest some money in it...where your (treasure) money is, is where your heart is. (Matt. 6:21)  

So I contacted Amanda @ Royal Daughter Designs.  She did a great job of setting me up with a design that is clean and simple and suits me.

Early in 2013, I joined the "movement" if you will, to choose One Word for the year.  Don't you know, God chose Intentional for me.  Since then, I've still run a bit hot and cold - only posting sporadically, and never really feeling comfortable with what I was doing. Until...

Until I began to pray.  Yep.  I began to pray for my blog.  And the readers.  And my voice.  And His purposes for all of it.  And because He is who He says He is, and He loves me so much, He answered me...a couple Sundays ago in church...during worship.  You can read about it here.


VISION
Using my voice on Enjoy The Process 
by Him and for His Purposes.



Re-Working
That of course led to this post, and a re-working of my ABOUT page.  I also re-worked, updated the Me & Mine (Family page) which was way out of whack for some reason.  And finally, I even created a couple of buttons for the sidebar.  See, I'm getting there....

All that brings me to this weekend.  I was poking around The Influence Network and came across a thread about creating an "Elevator Pitch."  I'd heard of it, but never put much thought into it.  But I distinctly felt a nudge from God to work on it.

What I ended up doing as I put word on paper was actually to create my mission statement, which really began with my tagline - Living Well, Laughing Often. Loving Much.


MISSION
Mine is a Christian lifestyle blog with a heart to encourage families (esp. moms) to Enjoy The Process of everyday life by:

Living Well - maintaining good health
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."  1 Cor. 6:19-20 NKJV

Laughing Often - laughing is not only a form of praise, but His joy is our source of strength
"Then our mouth was filled with laughter,And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”" Psalm 126:2 NKJV

"Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, forthe joy of the Lord is your strength.”" Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV

Loving Much - he who is forgiven much loves much...
"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”" Luke 7:47

It's my hope and desire that by sharing our story, families would be strengthened, encouraged and learn to enjoy their walk with Him as they pursue His Purposes in their daily lives.

Now, I have to admit there is a phrase here that I am not altogether comfortable with.  
"Christian lifestyle blog" seems so overdone or over-used maybe, but through prayer it came down to the fact that that is what this is...a blog about Christian life.  God said to use it.  So I did.

Then I reduced that down to a simple statement...my elevator pitch...


ELEVATOR PITCH
Enjoy The Process is a Christian lifestyle blog designed to encourage families to LIVE well, LAUGH often and LOVE much while pursuing His Purposes in their daily lives.

So, what do you think?

Do you have a Vision / Mission Statement or Elevator Pitch?  
Let me know in the comments, I'd love to see yours...
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Friday, March 1, 2013

What is Ordinary? {FMF}

Ordinary.
What is ordinary? 
I ask myself that question all. the. time.  Because I feel so ordinary sometimes.  
But maybe that's what I'm supposed to be.  
After all I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  
I am the daughter of a King - a princess to be sure.  
I am the wife of a fabulous man, and two wonderful people call me mom.
Sometimes I struggle with it "being enough".  Usually when I'm looking at others and their "ordinary."
Sometimes I struggle with it "being too much".  Usually when my focus has left the One who created me for this time and season. 
Ordinary.  Yep, that's what I am...
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Linking up with the Flashmob of Writers known as Five Minute Friday @ Gypsy Mama's.

I give myself away...

Worship during a Sunday morning service seems like a strange time to get the vision for my blog (and maybe even my life), doesn't it?  Well, that is what happened a couple of weeks ago.  This is the song we were singing...
I've been praying for weeks about what direction to take with my blogging.  I came to a point where I was a mere button push away from deleting the whole thing.  I just couldn't do it...push that delete button.
Then I realized that the reality of it was this - I liked the idea of being a blogger.  I liked the community aspect and the wisdom exchanged in the blogosphere is tremendous, but I found what I was really reckoning with was - whether or not I wanted to put in the work it takes to be a blogger.
I am keenly aware and understand fully the principle of "we make time and space for things that are truly important to us," so this bit of truth hit hard.  Real hard.
I've struggled for quite some time with "not finishing" things.  Projects, crafts, scrapbooks, photos, etc.  I have stacks of things that have gone undone...unfinished.  And I've just not wanted blogging to be added to that pile.  And by deleting it, that's exactly what would have happened. 
In the long run, it's really much less about what I want and desire and more about simple obedience to what God has said - what He has quickened in my heart.  It's about giving myself so that He can use me in whatever way He sees fit.  It may be my words on a screen, or a comment I make.  It may be a hug and a prayer with a real life friend who needs them.  


Whatever He desires is really my desire.
I look back and when I was standing there singing those words with hands lifted high, I truly understood the vision of my life and my blog.  I've always understood the words, but now I know the truth, the reality of it.  

My life is about giving myself away in such a way 
that I can be used by Him for His purposes - 
so that His Kingdom is advanced here on earth.  

It boils down to this - it's a choice.  Am I going to walk down this path of writing with all of its vulnerability and human-ness, building community so that God's purpose and plan can be achieved in the lives of myself and others?  
Or am I going to be content to wonder what could have been?  
Am I willing to step up and "punch fear in the face" as Jon Acuff says, and write?  Just write, comment, and interact...not for me, but out of simple obedience to the One who has called me to this place in time?  It's an honor really.  To be chosen for such a time as this to affect the sphere of influence HE has given me...
It's really an act of my will, this writing challenge (and every other area of my life)...

My willing and intentional response to His call to "give myself away so that He can use me." 

Linked with:
Fellowship Fridays
Desire to Inspire
Women Living Well
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Mom & Daughter Wore...

This is the post where I tell on myself and then enjoy the happy photo find!  And somehow I connected both What I Wore and What Works For Me.... another happy connection...
First the tell on myself part...

I have a love / hate relationship with the digital photography realm.  One the one hand, I love the instant gratification of seeing the photo you just took and knowing what it looks like and whether or not you want to take another.
But what I really dislike, and can't seem to get a handle on, even after all these years of taking digital photos is the "processing" of them.  No, I'm not taking that little roll of film to the store to have it developed, but there is still a process - unloading the sd card, filing the photos, editing, and backing them up.
Friends, it's confession time - I stink at this process.  I'm pretty good at getting them off the sd card, but once they enter my laptop, forget about it - literally.  And the backup - mama mia I can't tell you the last time...I know....  {sigh}
Case in point - I switched laptops in the fall... about 4 months ago, and just now have I begun to put the photos on my new laptop.  Part of the problem is the learning curve with iPhoto - SO, if anyone has any tips on using this program,  and wouldn't mind helping a sista out, I'd be terribly grateful!!
Now the happy photo find...

But I digress.....  In the uploading I just finished I was pleasantly surprised to find a photo shoot I did with my Dollie last fall.  It was a sunny Sunday afternoon after church and we both looked cute, or so we thought, so we had some shots taken...
  
These outfits are really typical for the two of us.  I love the skirt, boot, top look for fall and winter and it works for me, so I go with it.  She is really into the blazers/jackets right now.
My outfit - black skirt: Macy's, print top: Macy's, boots: Famous footwear
Her outfit - not sure - black jeans: Macy's, top & jacket: Charlotte Russe, boots: Famous Footwear
Linking up with:
What I Wore Wednesday @ The Pleated Poppy
Works For Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family
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Monday, February 25, 2013

About Me Page...

Welcome to Enjoy the Process, where I endeavor to share my story ~ 

First & foremost, I'm a Jesus-girl, a sinner saved by grace, walking everyday by His empowerment!  I'm married to the Man of my dreams - literally, and together, we are raising two teenagers.
My life is all about Living well, Laughing often, & Loving much, so that is what I share.  Things like...
  • our gluten-free diet lifestyle, including recipes and links I find helpful...
  • our teen-raising challenges and triumphs (as much as I can post without embarrassing them)...
  • our marriage and parenting successes and not-so-successes...
  • the insights that the Lord is sharing with me...
Bottom line?  I have a heart to share my story in the hope of encouraging & moving others forward in theirs.

A Few Random Facts about me...
1.  I had a dream about my wedding and the groom even before we were dating.
2.  I am a Guillain-Barre miracle recovery story.
3.  Purple is my favorite color.
4.  I work part-time for our church doing everything from weekly bulletins to social-media.
5.  I have a love/hate relationship with Apple i-products.



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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taco Seasoning Mix {WFMW}

This morning I was mixing up a batch of Taco Seasoning Mix and I had the thought - "doing this takes so little time and yet it so works-for-me."  Then I had a slap-my-forehead moment when I realized I should share it with the masses on Works For Me Wednesday.  
I only wish I had made a note of where I originally got the idea and the recipe, though we have tweaked it over the years.
It's easy to make.  
It's easy to use.
It tastes great.
And you know exactly what's in it...unlike the envelopes...
TACO SEASONING MIX
1 Tbs. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Oregano (optional)
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
Mix together.  
Store in an airtight Container.  (My TW snack cup holds a double batch.)
I believe one batch is about the same amount as one of those envelopes, but honestly, I just eyeball it.
I also typed up the recipe and put it on the fridge so I don't have to look for the recipe when we run out.  (Because I'm efficient like that...)
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Linked with We are THAT Family - Works For Me Wednesday

Friday, February 15, 2013

My heart is full...


"I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine" Song of Solomon 6:3

This week my heart is full.  
Monday we celebrated 18 years of marriage.  Eighteen!  Someone please explain how that is possible?!?  Seems like only yesterday we walked into that church on such a beautiful, sunny February day - only to come out a little while later to a blizzard.  Ahh February in NY!  
Thursday we celebrated Valentine's Day.  I use that term celebrated loosely, because around here our love is not reserved for just one day, but for everyday.  We have always purposed to show it and be it on a daily basis.  For each other.  For our kids.  For our Heavenly Father.
But yesterday this week, my Man went all out.  This whole week has been an extra special showering of gifts and flowers, candy and hugs.  For me and our kids.  Truly amazing how he knocks my socks off again and again!
And tonight...tonight we celebrate big, with a night out.  It's been awhile since it's been just the two of us.  We usually go out with the kids - we like spending the time with our teenagers and they with us.  But tonight, it's just us...and a host of other couples from church, all dolled up ready to eat, dance, and enjoy our way through the evening!  
It's our evening to celebrate one another and the love formed over time.  
This week, my heart is full.
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Linking up with Lisa Jo and a host of others at Five Minute Friday!
Also linking up with Fellowship Friday

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Thank you sweetheart for 18 unforgettable years!  
There have certainly been ups and downs, 
but through it all, God has been faithful 
and we have grown!  
I cannot imagine my days without you!  
I love you more than I did on that sunny/blizzarding day back in 1995!
Happy Anniversary!!
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter {Sunday Community}


“As long as the earth endures, 
seedtime and harvest, 
cold and heat, 
summer and winter
day and night will never cease.”
Genesis 8:22
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Linked with: The Sunday Community

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A daily life pattern {#hellomornings}

I'm a work in process.  Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don't.  These past several weeks - not so much.  I could give you a list, but what would that accomplish?  

Suffice it to say that I KNOW God is at work.  

How do I know that?  Because He does things like shake up my life - all of it...marriage, kids, work, school, finances, business, everything.  
Yeah, He loves me THAT much.  

Know what else?  He urged me to sign up for the Winter - Hello Mornings Challenge.  I didn't look into it...I just went and signed up.  What are we studying you may ask...Why, Job of course.

Job.  

Go figure.  I love the Bible.  And I know it's God's love letter to me.  
But really God? Job?  
Now, in this season?  
Yes daughter, in this season.

He loves me SO much, He's reminding me how a man, a regular man, with a wife, 10 kids, and all of the stuff that we deal with on a daily basis, dealt with a boat-load of adversity.

We finished the first chapter today.  Yep, just the first chapter...

Actually, I could have parked there for weeks.  So much.  So real.  So life.

Let me share a few of my "take-aways" from this first chapter...

1.  Job was a regular guy.  
He had regular issues.  He had a wife and kids - 7 sons and 3 daughters.  
I'm sure he had some sort of job because verse 3 lists his possessions and ends with "this man was the greatest of all the people of the East."  He was a busy and important guy.

His lifestyle wasn't wrapped up in that though.  Verse 1 indicates that Job was "blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil."  My Bible has a great footnote that says because Job was blameless and upright doesn't mean he was without sin, it means his daily life pattern was toward righteousness and away from evil.

A daily life pattern.  Toward righteousness.  Away from evil.

In verse 8, God describes Job as blameless and upright.  
Now, who on earth wouldn't want Almighty God to say that about them?

2.  Job was not exempt from trials.  
We all know the book.  We may even know some of the trials he faced.  But have we stopped to think that he was a regular guy facing these trials?

Now, God was aware of what was happening - He always is.  In verse 12 - He even put a limit on what satan could do - he couldn't "lay a hand" on Job - he couldn't touch his physical body.

So satan did what he does - what he still does to this day.  He used people - the Sabeans and Chaldeans as well as natural elements - fire and wind to take away Job's children and possessions.  

3.  Job's response was exactly what God expected.
Verse 20 "Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped."  WHAT?  His kids, his stuff it's all gone and he's worshipping?!?

If only I could say that that is my response to trials.  I can't.  More often than not, I complain, cry, moan and groan but I don't set my heart to worship in those times.

And finally, verse 22 - "In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."  Again, I wish I could say this is my response, but honestly, this Jesus-girl has a long way to go when it comes to dealing with trials.  

In my mind, I can almost imagine Job in the midst of his worship saying something like...

"This - all of this is not God's fault.  
And because it's not God's fault, 
I'm going to worship Him through these situations, 
because I KNOW that I know HE is faithful, 
HE is true, and HE loves me."

I don't know about you, but I want that to be my response in all matters, my prayer at all times.  I want to become a woman who lives her life toward righteousness and away from evil - daily - creating a daily life pattern that is pleasing to God - so pleasing in fact that He can't help but take notice...

What do you think?  Are you reading through Job too?
How do you handle trials?
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Intentional 150

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cherished {#FMF}

It's Friday again - how does that happen? 

And that can mean only one thing - Five Minute Friday, where a group of women come together to write just for the sake of writing.  It's five minutes - who doesn't have five minutes, right?  

Cherished

I saw the word this morning and immediately thought a specific conversation many moons ago.

I was pregnant, probably about 6 months or so.  

One day, I was having a conversation with a lovely yet very lively (older than me) lady at church.  

All of the sudden she put her hand on my swollen belly and with tears in her eyes, she said these words 

I'll never ever forget... 

"Don't take any of it (parenting) for granted.  
Cherish every minute.  Don't even blink, because if you do, 
you'll open your eyes and she will be 18 and off to college."

I was stunned her words.  After all, I hadn't even labored or borne this babe, and here she was talking about college.  Well, she must have been right.  

I blinked.  

That babe is going to be a junior in high school next fall.  

She'll be taking four college credit courses...her junior year.

I blinked.  

But honestly, I've cherished it all...every minute, every milestone, every season.  
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Intentional 150

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Holding My Peace...

Have you ever gotten out of bed in the dark of the morning only to look back at it wondering, wanting to climb right back in and pull the covers over and call it a day?  Right then and there, before the day even began?  

That was me this morning.  

Getting up was extra tough.  I'm tired, physically, mentally and emotionally.  There are situations facing us right now (I'll spare you the details) that we simply have no control over.  Yet we have to walk through them.  We have to persevere.  We have to press.  

And it's hard.  It's hard sometimes to remember that He is the Alpha & Omega, the beginning and the end, and that He already knows the end. (Is. 46:10)

It's hard to remember that He knows the plans He has for us, and that they are for good and not evil. (Jer. 29:11)

It's hard, but not impossible to remember these things.  They are the reality.  The situations are facts.

How I long to cling to the reality...to Him.  
But sometimes it's just plain hard.

I've been reading Exodus 14 for several days now.  

It's so full of wisdom, and encouragement and that's where He has me right now.  

Because I need it.  The wisdom and the encouragement.

The chapter is all about The Crossing of the Red Sea.  These people were in the midst of some circumstances, and their faith had to go to a whole new level.  

There was no hiding under the covers - the Word says they went out with boldness (v.8), even as they were being pursued by the the Egyptians.  That doesn't mean they didn't want to go back...(v11-12).  

They did some serious complaining, but in the end, they went forward

 Going backward was not an option (v15).

That's how I feel.  

We HAVE to go forward, but backwards is so much easier, more comfortable and familiar.  

BUT GOD in all of His wisdom, knew we'd have days seasons like this so He made a couple of promises here...

v. 13 - "Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid.  Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.""

v. 14 - "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

Don't be afraid.  

Stand still.  

Hold your peace.
 
All wonderful promises from an AWESOME God!  

Sometimes, and maybe it's just me, but sometimes they are a little difficult to walk out in the midst of life.  Am I alone here?

When life appears to be crumbling or at least wavering a bit.  

Don't be afraid.

When we want to fix all of this stuff that is going wrong.  Surely I can come up with an answer.  

Stand Still.

If I think enough.  If I pray more.  If I talk about it a little more surely we'll find an answer we didn't think of before.  

Hold your peace.

That's the one that really gets me.  Hold your peace.  Our peace (in Him) is the key.  Our peace (in Him) is the key to our joy.  And our joy (in Him) is the key to our strength.  

So today, I'm challenged.  

Challenged to hold onto my peace.  

Challenged to not allow the circumstances of the day to rob me of my peace, my joy or my strength.  

That's my challenge.  And it is a challenge, because circumstances look big. 

BUT GOD.
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Linking up with New Life Steward - WIP Wed
and also with Amanda - Desire to Inspire