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Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Meanderings ~ Jan. 26

Bible Study... Finishing up our study on contentment this week. And on my own I am reading thru the Gospels, trying to get re-inspired by the life and teachings of Christ. 

Memory Verse...  Philippians 2:5
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Need to work on having a positive attitude, particularly with the kids, so that I'm not an annoying, critical voice in the house.

Train Them Up...
* This is week 2 of piano lessons with Eli and Hannah. The schedule has to be shifted on our Library week (flexibility is a big reason for doing our own lessons), so we'll see when it can get fit in for each of them. They're both excited and off to a great start though!
* Family read-aloud. I'm not very consistent about this.

Personal Goals...
Not only keep track of calories but make sure they're actually healthy choices. I'm finding that even if I stay within my limit, it's a noticeable difference when it's healthy choices or not, not just the scale numbers but the way I feel too.

New Habit of the Month...  {january}
fitting in piano lessons and practice throughout the week.

MUST Do... 
* Order Bible study books for upcoming study. 
* Finish the 30 Day Minimalism Challenge.  It's been awesome cleaning out and minimizing!!
* Mail bday invites for Hannah's party.
* Mail package.

Zone(s)... master bedroom. i want the floor space completely cleared and all laundry put away and dressers dusted!

Menu - 

M - chicken parmesan, salad
T -  crockpot ham and scalloped potatoes
W - chicken salad
Th - pork roast and saurkraut
F - baked chicken thighs, corn, fruit
S - homemade taco pizza

* two friend dates this week  =)
* library day tomorrow, which also means I get to clean out a box of books and puzzles that have been waiting for delivery.
* gorgeous weather for a few days = as much outside time as possible!!
* volleyball Thursday. my very favorite part of the week. we're finally getting enough players so it's been super awesome lately, and it's such a good workout I'm always sore the next day, even though we've been playing for months now!
* going to a varsity basketball game thursday. there haven't been that many home games so I'm excited we finally have a chance to go!
* Kevin will be off for the weekend, it's always nice when the schedule lines up that way. 
* new book coming in the mail. always exciting. hehe

3 things I'm thankful for today...
Amaaaaaazing weather for the middle of winter!  LOVE being able to get outside, and love the sunshine!
2. Productive weekend! We knocked down AND burned the garage all in one weekend and it's cleaned up and nice right now! Feels awesome to tackle some of those long-awaited projects!
3. Being physically active. Life is so much more fun that way! And never something to take for granted!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015: {Courage}

What I discovered about myself in 2014 is that I have a lot of dreams and passions and am stuck in a life of frustration because I am depending upon and waiting on other people to help make those dreams become reality.  

No more.

This is my life. I must be proactive.  

God filled me with these dreams and passions, He molded this heart of mine, and He will give me courage to step outside of myself.

I want to live the Gospel boldly.  I want to BE the good in the world.  And I've realized that all my wishing and hoping does nothing. I can't pray for a change in someone ELSE in order for there to be a change in ME. My life starts with my life. I can't let my heart for something be contingent upon someone or something else. 

I am introverted (another big thing I've learned about myself in 2014) and the thought of just going for it and doing something on my own makes me want to CHOKE. I am not a leader and maybe never will be. This is not my comfort zone. But I CAN do something in my style and my way. I CAN stop overthinking it and overstressing and overanalyzing. I CAN take opportunity of the small moments that come with each day. If my passion is to serve others, I CAN live a life of open eyes, open heart, and boldness. I CAN live a life full of quiet kindnesses. I don't have to stop being my introverted self, because it's who I am and there is a gift in that, but I do want to challenge myself to step out in faith. 

This fully describes how I want to live my year and my life:

Because after all, that's how Jesus lived. And my desire is to be more like Him every day, every moment, every breath. To live without agenda, without blinders, but to make the most of every opportunity because these days are fleeting, and there is a hurting and broken world to love on. Jesus himself says, "whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me... Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:40,45) May I never pass on by the person I was meant to serve. May I live with courage and boldness and LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY. In a world full of hate, bitterness, retaliation, and darkness, may my life shine so that through me others may see HIM. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I've learned (so far) from 10 years of marriage.

I'm just a regular girl here, sharing my heart about what I've learned in marriage thus far in our 10 years. It hasn't always been fantastic, struggles can be very real, but I am SO THANKFUL for where we are now and how we are still growing and still learning. There is great reward in perseverance. BUT it always makes me nervous to post things like this because extreme circumstances in marriage or a home can call for a whole different solution. There are no absolutes in this earth. Be wise and discerning, and listen for God's voice. He has a different walk for each of us, but this is what I've learned.  All of these points apply to both spouses but I don't want to mess with constantly say him/her, so that's that. Read on, my friends...

1. God is in control, He is faithful, and His ways are good. Even when times are hard, like really hard, get in the Word, and do the right thing anyway and God will see you through. And when you don't do the right thing, God will see you through that too. Because He is faithful and loving, and that's not just a hope, it's a promise

2. Grace. Love anyway, respect anyway, forgive anyway. No one is perfect, period. 

3. Intimacy means so much more than sex. It also means letting your spouse be THE one you turn to, and sharing things with only him. Not your girlfriends, not social media. Let your moments, experiences, and feelings be private sometimes too. In a culture that is so media-driven and wrapped up in communication and  sharing everything at all moments of the day, this is a biggy. It also means being fully present with those you are with, especially with your spouse and family.

4. People change, it's inevitable. Accept who your spouse is now--the good and the not so good. With the flaws, with the sin, with the brokenness--and walk together through life's ebbs and flows. Sure, you can pray for one another in certain areas, but find a contentment in where he is. Be his supporter, not his adversary. Love and accept the way Christ does: HE's not looking for perfection, so neither should I. HE's looking for my heart, and so is my husband.

5. Protect your marriage, always. Be careful what you watch on TV and movies and read in books--it can create false expectations and ideals that are not reality, leaving you to be continually disappointed with real life. Be careful about who you are friends with and where you go for support and advice. Surround yourself with things that inspire you to be a better person and better wife. Be careful about what you are turning to for happiness. Even GOOD things can start coming before your spouse. 

6. Focus on the positive. There are always negative things about a person or circumstance, but there are ALWAYS good things too, and a lot of them if you choose to look for them. Focus on that, cultivate a heart of gratitude. There's a huge power in positive thinking. Let it transform your attitude and way of life. 

7. Marriage is worth it. It's amazing. Not perfect, but amazing. To have a lifelong companion, supporter, lover, and friend. To grow to know someone so well that you know his habits, his routine, his likes and dislikes, his needs, his wants, his dreams, and working together becomes natural and as easy as breathing. Okay, maybe not always but more often than not. It takes work and intentional effort, not because there's "something wrong" but simply because life is always changing, circumstances are always changing, people are always changing, and we are two sinners trying work as one. But the one constant is God. Let Him be your compass, your biggest supporter, and your source of joy and peace that binds all things together. He is faithful.

I believe in marriage. I am in it for the long haul, for all that it is and all that it will be. I am thankful for the good times and sweet memories that no one can steal, and I am thankful for the bumps and valleys that help me grow stronger and wiser. Life itself is not easy, let alone life with another human being. Marriage will refine me and help me to grow more like Jesus through the years. May my heart be always open to His leading. Each day is a fresh start, each moment is a choice. Remember these truths, and press on!