My Friend Sarah over at SINCERELY ANCHORED wrote this book last year. And it spawned interesting idea. It’s a devotional, It’s dated but it is S-I-M-P-L-E! When I received it in the mail last year I couldn’t wait to start it so….I started in September! I had just Finished Hello Mornings where the author spoke about 3 minute mornings and can I tell you THAT principle changed things for me BUT enough on that for now. I used Sarah’s book in my 3 minute morning routine and boy did I fall in love- but this isn’t a book review (That will come later)
It’s no secret that this month is February and with that comes Valentines day (I know I know insert all the yucky faces and cue the comments about it being only a commercial day and blah blah blah- People this is a no negative zone)
Well Sarah decided (perhaps as she should) to use verses based on love throughout this month- people it took me 6 days to catch on I mean REALLY?)
Anyway through some preaching (thanks hubby) and reading on my own and some circumstances in our world we live in I have been wrestling with some questions.
Now I am not going to share this questions right now with you. but as write over the coming weeks maybe you will begin to see what I have been struggling with.
As I have worked through 6 days of verses based on love I began to ask myself a different question What if we took those verses and applied them to how we love God. HMMMM! What triggered this you might ask, well First Corinthians 13 to start.
Lets start at the very beginning
LOVE IS PATIENT- when we hear this at least for me I immediately apply this to my immediate relationships MY husband and kids, but maybe for others it is your parents, or your…..whatever. But what if we looked at is as showing love to God by being patient with him timing? We so often look at a situation we have been trying to wait patiently on God for- and then one day we just decide enough is enough God needs some help- I’m just gonna give this a nudge in the right direction…..MY direction. Verse 3b says Love does not demand it’s own way! Wowsers!! That has all sorts of implications in our world today! So Many say I love God but I’m still gonna choose……you fill in the blank with a sin of choice…..But when we get to February 28th and the verse says in John 14:15 IF you love me you WILL keep my commandments.
This is just one of the areas we will touch on overs the coming weeks in February ( and one I’m sure will land in March). This isn’t going to be an everyday discussion. It will probably look like every 5 to 7 days depending on our crazy schedules!
Have you ever looks at verses about loving others and put God in that place I mean after all He is ….
This post has been three days in the making! No joke. I have had this post open and slowly coming up with what to write about. But as we have been talking about things this week we have been talking about a few things over and over and over again. This post has been born out of our conversations,. Conversations about a certain bucket list we have. We aren’t normal in the terms of bucket lists. Yes we have places we would love to go and see and do BUT we have some odd lists. And this week, the conversation has centered around one in particular. Then this morning I was telling hubby about this strange movie that I listened to. It was weird. And lastly there is the topic as this week has been a week of finishing things I started last year. I will go into this a smidge more in another blog post coming this evening. LET”S JUMP IN!
So yeah I guess you could say we have bucket lists. Like we would love to continue the Trend we started on our honeymoon of visiting presidents homes. Since we have been married we have visited something like 11 or 12 presidents homes. We have visited the Eisenhower’s estate in Gettysburg. Montpelier, (Madison’t home) Ash Lawn (Monroe’s Home). Mount Vernon ( Washington’s home), Monticello (Jefferson’s home) James Buchanans home. The home of both Harrison’s, Home of Woodrow Wilson, Abe Lincoln’s Birth home, Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville and I am sure I have missed some or two ! Not all of those were done on our honeymoon. Lincolns and Jackson’s were done with very small kids on our family vacation in 2009 to Franklin and Nashville Tennessee and Kentucky.
Another odd little bucket list is battlefields centered around the civil war.. We have been to Gettysburg , Antietam, Appomattox Courthouse and the Canton House in Franklin TN. (out of those Canton house is the CREEPIEST). Even though there aren’t any others on this list to speak o (That we went to see)f we wouldn’t necessarily turn down the opportunity either. (There is this ongoing threat that the hubby and the oldest man child are going to take me back to Gettysburg to read EVERY. SINGLE. MONUMENT. -if you have been to Gettysburg, you know how serious this could be, we may never make it home again!)
But the bucket list we have been discussing all week is concerts. After being to our second Newsboys concert in two years and a Mercy Me concert in October, we are discussing what’s next. There is one man child who wants to see Mandisa (I’m with him). And there is one Man child who wants to see Toby Mac ( I’m with him). and there is a hubby who wants to see Casting Crowns (I’m with him). HMMMM I think I can’t loose! I would then add Francesca Battisstelli., Chris Tomlin, Matthew West and Brandon Heath and Jamie Grace. I’ve been scratching concerts off my list for a LONG time, so these would. be icing on the cake. (oh and since I just got to see the Old Sschool Newsboys- I can now hold out hope for a DC Talk reunion concert ..hint hint hint!!)
So often times while I am working on house work I will have a movie playing in the background. Yesterday I pulled up PUREFLIX and scrolled through some movies. and I landed on a newly added movie called THE LIST. There are actually two movies called this and I had already listened to the other one. This particular one starts out in colonial times (Remined me a lot of the NATIONAL TREASURE movies. ). It has Christian themes and gets really weird. Basically a young man gets caught up in a secret society/ cult. And there is spiritual warfare BUT they aren’t really forthcoming with info needed to explain what exactly is going on. The focus was on Prayer and breaking free from the grip, but from what? It was just an odd movie, and if you didn’t know what was really being said ( as in an unbeliever or a baby Chirstian). you would be severely confused!
Finishing What I Started.
In the next blog post (Five Minute Friday ). I will be talking about the one word prompt for today : STUCK. And that is exactly how I was feeling from November of 2017 til March of 2018. It didn’t seem to matter what I was doing, I felt like I was dragging a 250 pound weight behind me. And yes I was completely immersed in play season for two of those months but generally I can still manage life along with the Christmas play for church. Well just over the last couple of weeks I feel like I have finally had my head come up above the water. And in the last few weeks I have completed some things I started last year. Like my One Thousand Gifts Study, The Hebrews Study I had been working though and I finished the Lies Young Women Believe study. And I am really on track for finishing this years first Study of Esther and completing the study portions of Hello Mornings (my review book from the beginning of the year).
I also want to finish up the women’s leadership video series that I started last year on Right Now Media.
When these things are all caught up I will begin tackling my rating list for 2018. Let’s be honest I know it’s not all going to happen AND THAT’S OK. The point is to grow, not perfection. But it was really important to me that I finish these things. I want to be a woman who is known for finishing well. Finishing well isn’t a time frame either. It’s not gauged by years but by doing your best with what you have . This is all part of the reason why I evaluate my goals so often because sometimes goals need to be taken off the list. It’s just not what can happen in this moment of time.
Well That’s about it for this week! I hope you have have a wonderful weekend. What are some of your Random Reflections from this week? Share them in the comments below!
So while scrolling through Facebook the other day I came across this meme and since there is snow falling today I thought it might be fitting to share:
“April Showers bring snow plowers”.
There was a huge snow plow plowing through feet of snow. though there are no feet of snow, or inches of snow, I did go to bed to the sound of a snowplow last night salting the roads. and this is what I woke up to this morning….
those little white specks in the air are you guessed it snow. And we have had quite the heavy snow showers this morning. now it’s not sure if it wants to be snow or rain. It’s been doing both. I struggle with the cold and gray of New York. As a girl from Pennsylvania. I am not used to winters like this even after living here for nearly 17 years.
Leave of Absence
This last week I took a leave of absence from the pregnancy center. I love it and my clients, but for the time being I need to deal with smoother things. Somethings good, somethings hard, somethings just a must. I will miss everyone and hope to be back very very very soon.
Let. It. Go.
Our ladies Bible study will be gearing up for it’s next study. We picked the book a few weeks ago Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman. I have already read the book but I think it is time for a revisit. The subtitle is How to Stop running the show and start walking in Faith. All I can say is DID YA READ MY LAST BLOG POST?
I’m looking forward to diving into this study soon..
I know that’s not very much but it is what it is. I hope you have a spectacular day and if you live where it is warm and sunny go out and enjoy some vitamin D for me
Happy Monday Night!! I had some things that had to be done this morning and afternoon AND I have two sick pre-teen boys. As in the stomach kind of sick and boy am I glad they are not little and missing the bucket!
And now that I have totally grossed you out, let’s get on with this past weeks Reflections.
This arrived today. We have been in state of busy-ness over the last 6-8 months. And what once worked (chore charts broken down by days) no longer works so after much searching and countless conversations about how to simplify…and our system was pretty simple, we came upon this little gem. I will be honest it was pricey. BUT after researching materials I couldn’t make it much cheaper. So this all inclusive system will be tested out. This is not a sponsored post. I need to add the pictures of each family member to the top row. BUT outside of that it is pretty much complete. It comes complete with everything you need except scissors and glue. The Whole family is excited to give it a try . It moves away from an allowance system and goes more towards a family store (you can still incorporate concepts of tithing and giving). Be watching for my honest review of this in the next month or two- and updates as we work out the kinks and make it useable for our family . You can check out Family Do Dots here.
#2- Finishing (well)
At the end of this last year….ok so if I’m honest it started when we got home from our last vacation in August, I struggled with some …eh…not sure what you would want to call it, but I had some tasks that I wanted to accomplish and they just never got finished. As the new year rolled around I began my annual goal setting routines and I hit a road Block. I kept coming back to those unfinished tasks. So as I am planning for upcoming months I have decided to finish up those goals. I think I really struggle with time frames. I think that if I haven’t finished something in my allotted time I just give up and move on. This year I have realized that it does not have to be 6 months or 12 months. They are my goals, so what if they don’t happen in the 12 months I thought it should take. I am my own worst critic. So this year I want to not put so much pressure on myself and finish some of the goals I stared last year and have less goals overall this year. I want to remember 2 things 1) Progress over Perfection and 2). It only matters how well you finish not WHEN you finish.
#3-Youth Group Overnights
I have loved youth group overnights since I was a teenager and our church did lock-ins. I have very fond memories of playing water balloon volleyball in the gym of my middle school where I attended (amongst other crazy games courtesy of my youth leaders Robin, Brenda, Gerry and Jennifer) and for the last couple. of years I have had the privilege of helping lead the youth group and now am co-leader with my hubby. Usually a couple of things lead to crazy sleep deprivation like not being able to nap before the overnight. I just couldn’t I would lay down but nothing would happen. I would just stare at the ceiling. Then I would either be up all night or most of the night, come home and have to leave again for some long scheduled meeting or something. That happened on the lsat 3 or 4 overnights . SoI end up being awake from Friday at 5 or 6 in the morning til Saturday at 7 or 8 at night. The result is almost a half week of just wanting to sleep all the time. Well this time was different. This time I peeked in a four hour nap. Stayed up ALL night with only 1 cup of coffee. I came home and went to bed at like 7:30 or 8 am and slept until 1:30. Great right HA! One would think But just like that newborn coming home from the hospital my days and nights are mixed up. I still love overnights and I will continue doing them as long as I can. And to be completely honest I can deal with my days and nights mixed up better that just being exhausted for a week!
I know I have said it before but we live in the middle of nowhere. Wildlife is a part of our life. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys, ducks, geese, raccoons, ferrel cats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, pheasants, frogs, turtles, rats, bats, mice, opossums, foxes , snakes and skunks. We have them all, and who knows there could be some other fun creatures lurking around our house.
But this last week some poor soul hit a skunk right in front of our house. I woke up to this terrible smell and blamed the dog. I was wrong. Our WHOLE house wreaked of the striped nocturnal beast. Hubby wonderfully moved the skunk from in front of our house to the woods. Some comments were made about it looking like it was digging a hole in the middle of the road (only my brothers and dad will get THAT reference) We have had some skunk activity BUT wow. Then two nights later I needed something from our truck so I opened the front door and I was hit with tear inducing stench. SERIOUSLY! There was no dead skunk this time BUT some poor soul, or animal met with the wrong end of that variegated vermin, and I wasn’t’t about to be victim #2!
I chuckle to myself as I thought back to a camping trip as a teenager. In a matter of a couple of hours we had seen 20-30 skunks. we called it the year of the skunk. My brothers and I ran into one at dusk that resulted in a three stooges moment where the first one stopped dead in his tracks and the other two of us ran into the one in front of us. Then on the way back to the campsite (my brothers ditched me) in the dark armed with nothing but a small flashlight heard something in the underbrush next to me . I flashed the light expecting to see a deer or bear but instead was met with the beady black eyes of a skunk just a few feet away. I ran. I got to the campsite where my parents had been watching skunks (yes Plural) at the edge of the forrest. Mom and I ran into yet another skunk as we headed towards the shower house before going to bed and upon returning we found my dad in the van…..a skunk ran across his foot. Sometime in the middle of the night my dad and I were awakened by the most hideous noises I have ever heard while camping. we went to the window of our TENT and saw the biggest raccoon (he had to duck to get out from under the picnic table) and a bunch of skunks fighting over the watermelon seeds we had spit onto the ground at dinner. I whispered “dad what happens if they spray”? My dad whispered back “We go home”. In all of the skunk sightings we never once got sprayed, we finished out our vacation with not another skunk sighting. Funny how smelling that awful stench brings back such funny memories!
How about you? What randomness has happened in your life this week? and I look forward to sharing again next week!
Welcome to this weeks dose of randomness! It’s been a couple of weeks but a lot has happened during that time. I have been pondering about what t has happened and I think I have kind of narrowed it down to 3 reflections of randomness!
Reflection #1. Thrive
Our church is going through the book Thrive by Mark Hall (the lead singer from Casting Crowns). It is my second or third time through this gem of a book. My first encounter with this book was when I reviewed it in April of 2014 (you can find that review here– but don’t judge it was one of my first reviews!). My husband is leading it in two connect groups and I am leading it in the ladies connect group.
As I have jumped into this book again, I am simply amazed by the new insights I am seeing. One thing that struck deep this last week was this quote:
“I discovered this is how we pray for people. When somebody is dangerously sick, we pray for ‘God’s will,’ not for healing, Because we’re afraid the person won’t pull through and we don’t want to stick out our necks in public. But if it’s my kid, I’m not praying for “God’s will”. That’s my boy and I am begging God to heal him! Our just-in-case prayers tell us something about our view of God.”
My response: OUCH!!
It’s true. Every. Single. Word.
So I want to pray differently. I don’t want to communicate to myself or others that I only think God is capable of healing someone I want them to know that I have full confidence that He can. Yes He may not choose to. I need to drop the easy Christian-ese phrasing and pray with confidence!
Reflection #2 Job
Ok it’s time for a confession- out of all the books in the Bible Job is my least favorite. Some you who know me really well might be shocked by that because Job struggled, and I have struggled. Not like Job necessarily, but most people are stunned when they hear my testimony. And through that God has blessed abundantly. But I find Job arduous. There are points when you want sock Job’s friends for being so…….uncaring ( that seems too tame). And then there is Job who can seem whiny, and even at points puts himself on the same level as God. And when God steps in I feel like standing up and cheering “YES FINALLY!” but as I have embarked on reading through the Bible chronologically I have also chosen to use a different translation..though it’s not a translation but a paraphrase. You know what, It is what I needed. AND it’s ok. REALLY. And I am learning things from Job and kinda enjoying it along the way! I have even posted quotes from Job to my social media!
Reflection #3 My Planner
I am on a hunt. a hunt to see how I can take my every day planner and utilize it more with prayer. I already have a Franken-Planner. That term means I have created my own take of a Happy Planner. NO JOKE. I have my regular planner (but only 6 months worth and then in the second half I have another planner (my blog planner- the same 6 months.) I am still getting use to the set up, but I am trying to streamline what I’ve got in my bag. So I wan to implement my prayer thing (I don’t know what to call it)- into my actual planner. If you have any thoughts feel free to share below in the comments.
And that’s all I have for today. How about you? What have you been reflecting on over the past few weeks? I’d love to hear from you!