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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Praying Through Psalms ~ Day 2

You'll notice I don't use a lot of words and some days are much longer than others. In reality I spend a lot of time at the end with requests and mostly praying for various people but won't be including that here.

Day 2 ~ Psalm 4

ADORATION - Ps. 4:8
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
I praise you, Father, for you are my peace. You are my shield and protector.

CONFESSION - Ps. 4:4
"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." (p.s. this is sometimes one of our time-out verses for the kids)
I confess that in my anger I do sin. I yell or use harsh words. Forgive me for lack of self-control. Start today with a clean heart and renewed peace that I may be filled with You.

THANKS - Ps. 4:6b-7
"Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound."
* Sam's Club and finally getting some meat!! * clean teeth even though it HURT!! and a good teeth condition * VB planning this week and friends who enjoy sport with me * all this time for just Kevin and me so we can nurture our marriage and enjoy one another * excellent window-open weather * morning coffee that awakens me * morning quiet and Bible time that refreshes me

SUPPLICATION - Ps. 4:1,3
"Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God...Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him."
My actual requests are personal and won't be shared here. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Praying Through Psalms ~ Day 1


The other day I talked about my new prayer process: Praying the A.C.T.S. format using scripture directly from the Psalms, and I thought I'd expand that into a new series and walk through that in its entirety, starting at the beginning. My disclaimer: I am not a theologian, or a pastor, or anyone with credentials. I am just a Christ follower trying to grow closer to God thru prayer. I know personally that as a Christian sometimes you know you are supposed to pray and "do all that" but have a hard time knowing HOW to pray and where to start, so my hope is that this can be beneficial to those of you who might experience the same thing.  So here we go...

Day 1 ~ Psalms 1-3

ADORATION - Ps. 1:6, Ps 3:3,5
"For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous... You are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head...I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me."
Father, I praise you because you watch over me, you are a shield around me, and you sustain me through all of life's trials. In you I have hope always, because you conquered even death. In you I have new life. 

CONFESSION - Ps. 3:7-8
"Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! ...From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people."
Father, I thank you for being my deliverer, that I am not stuck in my sin. I trust in Jesus and his purpose on the cross, otherwise his death would have been done in vain. Forgive me for [selfish thoughts, for not putting others before myself, for impatience and irritability]. Fill me with your Spirit and make me a new creation.

THANKS - Ps. 2:11
"Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling." 
(my personal thankful list) * Sunday church * awesome worship * holy discontent because it is YOU moving in us and working toward something new and better and growing us * family exercise * fun show-watching with the hubs and having this time together * Bible studies and book that help focus our growth * kids who love to create and write

SUPPLICATION - Ps. 1:1-3
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf  does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."
My actual requests are personal and won't be shared here. =)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Praying through Psalms



I used to spend most of my time reading the New Testament because it's so easily applicable. I practically have all of Romans thru 1 John underlined because so many of those verses speak to me in their various ways. They are excellent reminders, powerful encouragements, direct guidance and truths, and easy to find when I need to recall them. But the fact was that I would read these verses with the attitude of "needing to get better at ______" (patience, gentleness, forgiveness, godliness, etc). And I spent little time PRAYING, that was always my weakness. And I was failing, frustratingly so, at the more patience thing, and everything else.

So in reality, I was spending all this Bible time with myself, and not directly with God Himself.

I think His Word is amazing, all the answers are right there. The values and what godliness looks like, what Christ looks like, the stories of how God works and who He IS, and how we can show all this to our neighbors. It's all amazing.

But as of late, I've been spending time specifically in Psalms. Actually praying. And primarily meditating on GOD'S character, not my character. And ya know what I'm finding?  The more I look at God and who HE IS and His goodness and faithfulness and love and redemption, the easier it is (for me anyway) to have a full heart. Simply put, the more I fill myself with HIM, the more I can display His fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) All the very things I was trying to "get better at". I always knew that these are the fruits of the Spirit and not of me, but I guess I never really realized that I wasn't actually spending time with HIM.  I wasn't praying or looking to God, I was only reflecting on what God WANTS. And failing because I was, without realizing it, depending upon myself and my own attitudes. I'm still not perfect, I still flip out, but overall I finally feel like I'm getting a grip. But mostly I'm finally feeling like I'm getting to know God and growing to be more like Him. After all, isn't that our continual life journey?

So. All that said, I thought I would explain a little bit what I mean each week when I say in "Monday Meanderings" that I'm praying through the Psalms following the A.C.T.S format.  So here it is:
The A.C.T.S. format is praying Adoration (praise), Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (requests), and in that order. It takes a chunk of time, and several pages in my journal, to do this thoroughly but it is sooo fulfilling and an amazing start to my day.  Like I said before, I've never been good at prayer. So for me, it's helpful to pray the scriptures, to find verses that apply to each element. I used to hop all over the Psalms finding a scripture for each part, but now I'm trying to move through the Psalms in order each day and find appropriate scriptures all from the same chapter or neighboring chapters, and then moving on the next day to the next couple chapters in Psalms. So here's an example from yesterday:

ADORATION -- Psalm 138:6-8
"Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever--do not abandon the work of your hands."
>>Truths from this passage:
* Though the Lord is on high, He looks on me.
* God will preserve my life in troubles.
* God has a purpose for me and will fulfill it.
* God loves me. Forever.

CONFESSION -- Psalm 139:23-24
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
>>You know my heart and my intentions. Forgive me for my sin. Search me and mold me in the areas that need work. Call attention to my sin and weaknesses. And make me more like You every day.

THANKSGIVING -- Psalm 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
(and then I write a thankful list for the day) * uplifting Bible verses * opportunities to set an example in the hard parts of life * opportunities to still grow and be challenged * walking days with friends * rain * yummy farm eggs * eternal healing for a friend's dad * being a SAHM and not living a hurried, stressful life * Eli's interest in Boxcar books * not having a leaky dishwasher in awhile . . . 

SUPPLICATION -- Psalm 138:3
"When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted."
(and then I write down various prayer requests-- specifics requests and general according to category)
* church...
* marriage...
* kids (sometimes whole pages of general requests and sometimes individually per child)
* pregnant friends...
* struggling friends...
* myself...
* missionary friends...

So there ya have it. My prayer routine I've been trying out. Now, studying the Bible doesn't stop there. I've been moved in many ways lately and actually want to start dissecting the Gospels. But the Psalms are a great place to meet and spend time with God Himself.

"Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul."
Psalm 86:4

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday Meanderings - Sept 8


A day late!! But still here! =)

Bible Study... just starting A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst. Plus I've been praying thru the Psalms each morning with the A.C.T.S. format and it's so fulfilling.

Memory Verse...  Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ It's a busy work week so be a helper and let him relax when home
♥ Organize and tidy the house. 

Train Them Up...
* Homework routine--math and spelling each night, without interruption-ha!
* Evening reading time--loving what we're reading right now and the kids are really into it. (a biography about missionary Amy Carmichael) 
* Hannah--we're dealing with selfishness right now
* Eli--quality time and conversation with him. 
* Carter--obedience and respecting other people's space
* Schedules -- continually choosing what to be involved in and what to pass. We're trying something new with gymnastics this year... picked the same day as AWANA and gonna try out having multiple things in one night vs having things multiple nights every week. We like to be home and stay home once kids are out of school for the day. 

Personal Goals...
* start a new book  =)

New Habit of the Month...  {september}
daytime routine and tackling household projects!

MUST Do... 
* possibly another tire repair
* purchase Bible study book

Zone(s)... playroom and living room

Menu - lots of new recipes this week!

M - chicken broccoli quinoa bake
T - meatless spinach lasagna (trying to incorporate at least 1 meatless meal each week)
W - sandwiches 
Th - one-skillet beans and rice
F - homecoming grillout
S - appetizer night - pimento dip, chicken fingers

FUN THINGS!
* Bible study x2 this week!
* Helping at Eli's classroom Thursday afternoon -- his teacher was so EXCITED when I offered this
* Gymnastics starts on Wednesday
* Dinner with friends Wednesday night 
* Homecoming on Friday! Which means the ONE football game we attend for the year. (hehe) And other fun activities

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. The calm after a storm. Figuratively speaking.
2. Relaxed days. Even with the kids gone at school, there is still much to get done during the day, and I'm so thankful that I can do this unhurried and stress-free.
3. Walking partners. I walk with friends a couple mornings a week, and it's multipurposeful and enjoyable. =)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Meanderings - Sept 1



Bible Study... just finished Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker (another life changer, sheesh!), The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Memory Verse...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Provide lunch stuff for this week's work schedule
♥ Organize and tidy the house. 

Train Them Up...
* Homework routine--math and spelling each night, without interruption-ha!
* Evening reading time--loving what we're reading right now and the kids are really into it. (a biography about missionary Amy Carmichael) 
* Hannah--we're dealing with brattyness right now (basically ungrateful fits because something isn't good enough.)
* Eli--quality time and conversation with him. 
* Carter--obedience and respecting other people's space, being nice to E & H's babydolls--for some reason he likes to pound them and it doesn't seem right. 

Personal Goals...
* starting workout routine! 
* schedule times to help in the kids' classrooms at school

New Habit of the Month...  {september}
chore routine and tackling household projects!

MUST Do... 
* clean out the fridge --excessive condiments are taking over!!
* take delivery to Project Response

Zone(s)... laundry

Menu - TBD

FUN THINGS!
* day off from school today. and a sick kids means I'm staying home from music tonight too. the restful day has been appreciated
* nothing going on this week! 

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. An excellent weekend visiting family/cousins! Relaxing, fun, and good conversation!
2. Last week was busy and nerve wracking planning and preparing for a church event. I'm thankful this week is much more relaxed!
3. God working in me. And good friends that understand and listen to my processing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Meanderings - Aug. 25




Bible Study... The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. and Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. 

Memory Verse...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Quality time with him
♥ Food. Sometimes I'm a little too skimpish in this area.

Train Them Up...
* Homework routine--math and spelling each night, without interruption-ha!
* Evening reading time--loving what we're reading right now and the kids are really into it. (a biography about missionary Amy Carmichael) 
* Since the start of school they're getting along well and very playful when they get home.
* We need to work on churchtime behavior. Hannah's fine but the boys are squirmy. Especially Eli is definitely old enough to sit still and be attentive. Need to remember to print their sermon sheets each week, maybe modifying the size so they're easier to juggle on laps. 

Personal Goals...
* starting workout routine! Got 3 miles done OUTSIDE this morning--what a wonderful new option! And walking with a friend tomorrow, weather permitting. 

New Habit of the Month...  {august}
schedules. keeping weekends mostly restful and trying not to overload weeknights, we decided to forgo soccer this fall and it's been really nice to be home most nights as we adjust to school season. but starting soon is AWANA and gymnastics! 

MUST Do... 
* finish vacation photo book so it can meet the sale deadline! =)
* prep for women's ministry night

Zone(s)... toy areas
 
Menu - 

M -  balsamic chicken, green beans
T - pork chops, glazed carrots
W - enchilada casserole
Th - roast n veggies
F - dad n kids
S - bday party
Su - leftovers

FUN THINGS!
*  small in-home Bible study starts this afternoon with a few ladies
* our Library day is tomorrow--our first time during school year
* AWANA starts Wednesday
* coffee date with a friend Thursday morning
* Friday night is our kickoff event for women's ministry--I am helping plan and run this--kinda nervous as I'm new to the ministry team!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Walk-run outside this morning!!  At first it seemed hot and the rocks are difficult to walk on but it ended up being really good! Pretty scenery, fun finds, and the breeze picked up when I turned directions. 
2. A week of new things! New friends, new roles, new responsibilities. 
3. Good books that are challenging me to get out of my comfort zone.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Meanderings ~ Aug. 4




Bible Study... The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. and A.C.T.S. prayer.

Memory Verse...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Use a gentle voice
♥ Get the house tidied up!!
♥ Make some goodies sometime

Train Them Up...
* This is our last fun summer week, next week will be prep for school. Supplies and routine and other stuff.
* Dinner helpers. 

Personal Goals...
* healthy choices! then once school starts I'll get back to my workout routine

New Habit of the Month...  {august}
trying to stay calm with the kids, using nice words and tone of voice

MUST Do... 
* Housework in prep for guests  
* Return a package
* Get Hannah signed up for gymnastics --i have called several times but haven't gotten a reply, and I think class starts again next week!

Zone(s)... everywhere really
 
Menu - 

M -  quinoa enchilada bake
T - pork chops, zucchini, corn bread
W - bacon wrapped smokies, taco dip
Th - sloppy joes, corn salad, and fruit salsa w cinnamon chips
F - ham, hashbrowns
S - TBD
Su - leftovers

FUN THINGS!
*  pool Wednesday (maybe, if it doesn't rain)
* women's ministry meeting Wednesday night
* hosting a winter-themed story time on Thursday morning
* Thursday evening family is coming and staying overnight!!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. New friends. Feeling so encouraged and excited and inspired.
2. Dreams. So many things I want to do this year! 
3. Family. Making the most of each opportunity.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Meanderings - July 21




Bible Study... The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Memory Verse...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Use a gentle voice
♥ Get the house tidied up!!

Train Them Up...
* Last week was super busy doing activities for Eli's birthday week, so this week is going to be super relaxed and we'll spend a lot of time at home getting caught up on housework.
* "Respect his/her space" is something we've been saying a lot lately. They all like to be in each other's business but sometimes someone is busy doing something on his/her own and that needs respected.
* We realllly need to get out the math flashcards for Eli. I can't believe we've gone all summer without practicing any of this!
* We are working to finish our summer book list, so we can have an ice cream party!
* Create one-on-one time with each child, particularly #1 child

Personal Goals...
* struggling to fit in workouts this summer. I think I need to do the pyramid workout consistently and not worry so much about the treadmill. Pyramid workout is faster and maybe more do-able these summer months.

New Habit of the Month...  {july}
I've had a month of summer lazyness and sleeping in. Now it's time to get back up in the morning for morning Bible study.  

MUST Do... 
* Housework!!  
* Look up some games for Eli's birthday party
* Mail a package
* Get Hannah signed up for gymnastics

Zone(s)... Office. the kids have been crafting in there and it's a disaster.
 
Menu - 

M -  bierochs, 
T - in town
W - grilled chicken, bean salsa
Th - crockpot meatballs
F - zucchini and spinach rigatoni
S - bday party
Su - leftovers

FUN THINGS!
* down time this week!!
* Tuesday night we're going to Planes: Fire & Rescue movie as a fam
* Eli's birthday party with the grandparents on Saturday

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Life has been transitioning lately. (more on that another day) But I'm in a good place right now. With family and friendships n all that. 
2. So thankful the kids get along together. They bicker and fight, of course, but they looove playing together and it's been a joy to watch this summer.
3. Thankful for all the fun things we've gotten to do this summer, the memories we're making, and having family close enough to join us sometimes! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monday Meanderings ~ June 30



Bible Study... The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Memory Verse...  1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Use a gentle voice
♥ Keep the house tidy as we prepare for his family's visit

Train Them Up...
* "Respect his/her space" is something we've been saying a lot lately. They all like to be in each other's business but sometimes someone is busy doing something on his/her own and that needs respected.
* After vacation we'll probably try going without Carter's nighttime pull-up.
* Still working on keeping at summer routine
* Create one-on-one time with each child, particularly #1 child

Personal Goals...
* struggling to fit in workouts this summer. I think I need to do the pyramid workout consistently and not worry so much about the treadmill. Pyramid workout is faster and maybe more do-able these summer months.

New Habit of the Month...  {may}
I've had a month of summer lazyness and sleeping in. Now it's time to get back up in the morning for morning Bible study.  

MUST Do... 
* Start putting things together for vacation
* Prepare maps and car games for trip
* I have between today and tomorrow to get the yard mowed

Zone(s)... we got the bulk of housework done yesterday, mostly just need to put away clothes piles and vacuum and change sheets everywhere. the kids have been working like mad to earn chore coins, it's been awesome!!
 
Menu - 

M -  grilled cheese, mandarin oranges, carrots
T - 7 layer dip, wonton mini tacos
W - spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Th - burgers, watermelon, potato salad
F - leftovers
S - vacation
Su - vacation

FUN THINGS!
* really great play date with new friends (and a puppy) yesterday
* pool day today and working the library
* family is coming for the 4th of July tomorrow and Thursday
* leaving for Mt Rushmore vacation on Saturday!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. New friends. It's been a HUGE encouragement not only for me but for Eli who now has a new friend his age with very similar interests!! So excited and hopeful for a good future.  ;)

2. The path we're on. I've (indirectly) been criticized a few times lately for public schooling our children, even stating that it's a sin to do so. But I am confident in our choice and our methods as we guide our children and help them navigate as a Christian through this world. And I'm thankful that God has placed this confidence and passion in me because it hasn't always been there.
3. Summer. Such a refreshing time of year, love this time with my kids and relaxed schedules.  =)

Monday, May 19, 2014

SUMMER TIME!!

Starts tomorrow and I can't wait!!  The kids basically stay on the same sort of routine year round. They wake up just as early, never sleep in, and thus they typically go to bed by about the same time during the summer months too. We try to follow this sort of routine for each day...



and this for the morning activity throughout the week:

I put it in our plastic fridge thing, behind our chore chart, so I can fill it in each week with a dry erase marker. (It will probably be highly determined according to the weather.) And these are the activity ideas I jotted down...

Make it Monday: homemade play dough, foam dough, baking soda clay, bird feeder, giant bubbles, homemade jam, dandelion tea?, glow bottle, DIY board game, play set additions?

Time to read Tuesday: library trip followed by park reading

Wet n Wild Wednesday: wash car, ice block with toys frozen inside it, water table, water bin, lake, pool, sprinkler, marble maze.

Thoughtful Thursday: letters and/or cards, service project, random kindness, neighborhood popsicles, book house donations

Fun Friday: outing, hiking, kids read-alouds with friends, lemonade stand, kickball, board game day, pond, orchard, zoo, playdate, etc

We don't usually have "bored" issues around here but if we ever have that then we'll implement this:

Over the duration of summer, the kids also keep a book log and when 100 (different) books are completed, they get to host an ice cream party with friends! They love doing this and were already ready to start our list a couple days ago!


Cheers to an awesome summer!!