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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