Day 34 of prayer for work

My Bible study today was John 1:35-42. I am not a scholar but my take on this passage today has been an encouragement.  I love that Jesus is so willing to spend time with those that want to know Him, and that from that time spent with Him, His guests are filled with joy and excitement to share Him with others and introduce those they love to Him.   Sometimes reading the Bible feels less than exciting to me honestly, but how refreshing to be reminded of the joy that comes by spending time with Jesus daily.

Dear Heavenly Father on this day I thank you for another day of work, another day of peace, and for reminding me how you love it when we visit. Thank you for the time to play with our children today and our health in order to do so. Be with our sleep and help us to use the rest and strength it provides us to glorify your name tomorrow. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Monday ponderings

We have been praying about what God has for our future. Some of the possibilities out there would mean a big change for us financially and of course another move.  This has led to well-meaning onlookers to warn us of the hardships of stepping down in pay and quality of life.

I have been thinking about our “stuff” and what we do with our current finances and how we long for them to be used to God’s glory. We have devoted a portion to supporting missionaries so I definitely keep that in our need to sustain side of decision-making.

Today I started my morning in Ephesians 1:7-14 and especially love verses 11-12

Ephesians 1:11-12 (NIV)

In Him you were also predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,

in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.

Since I was a teenager I have been taught by wise youth leaders to use each and every situation or obstacle, good or bad, to bring glory to God. To make the time in those moments not about me and how hard things are for me, or how I wish for different or better, but to look to God and be willing to see what He has already planned out so that I might give Him glory in return. Sometimes it isn’t something seen immediately, but God will always use our experiences in conformity with the purpose of HIS will, so I might as well make His will my heart’s desire.

The benefits of changing our “quality of life” in financial realms are actually a massive improvement to our quality of life. Maybe not to everyone, but for the purpose of serving God more fully and storing our treasures in Heaven instead of earth, benefits far outweigh any sacrifices we may have to make.

All this said, we still aren’t even sure what God will do and if doors that we are knocking on will open, but we are standing ready and willing in excited anticipation on this side of the door. I have a sticker in the front of my Bible that I got the weekend that I made God the LORD of my life and not just my insurance for after-life… it says:

ALL I am…

ALL I have…

ALL I ever hope to be…

I now and forever dedicate to the Lord Jesus Christ for His use and glory, absolutely, unconditionally, now and forever.

Now LORD JESUS, Hold me to it.

I signed this January 12, 1992. I will never forget that amazing weekend and how God grabbed my heart and jump started it again to live and truly live passionately in love with HIM.

If God is the one in control of my life, and He is, I have nothing to fear. He cares for each detail and has proved that to me time and time again in little and big ways.

This morning I listened to a song I haven’t heard in a while. I had it in my heart when I woke so looked it up online to refresh all the words. Listen and watch He Is No Fool, by Twila Paris.

May you have a day of knowing God is in control and finding peace within that knowledge and courage and strength to seek out what He has planned for you to do in order for whatever is happening to bring Him glory according to HIS will at work in you.


Thought for Food…

No, that title isn’t suppose to be Food for Thought, chapter 3 of our book study through Made to Crave is about preparing a plan of eating and action for ourselves.

This is a daily battle, not one that is a quick fix and not one that will be always fun or easy. Why bother then!?

James 1:2-4 (NASB)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Yes, my weight loss struggles, my choices to make between what is best for me and what would be fun to eat or do ARE trials that will produce perseverance and I will finish lacking in nothing, mature, and complete! THAT is the goal after all, the side effects will also be being trimmer, firmer, and able to fit into those goal jeans. Daily, I need to remind myself that choosing what is best is NOT depriving myself, but gifting myself with the JOY of self-control and health.

So make a plan, I see all sorts of different meal planning ideas out there and the key is to find one that works for each of us. Is there something that looks completely divine yet way too calorie full or fattening? See if you can find a way to cut the calories in it! This is a wonderful learning process that will encourage us that healthy eating doesn’t mean rice cakes and spoons of peanut butter as a meal. 😉

Take a few moments sometime soon to sit down and list out some meal and snack choices for the week and make your grocery list reflect anything your missing too.

Grocery store tip: Buying the low or reduced fat isn’t always best! Be a label reader. Many times in order to reduce the fat they load up the sodium and the calories remain the same. Compare labels and don’t be fooled by weight loss marketing.



My homeschool convention journey…

This year I attended the HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) convention in Richmond, VA. We use to live in that area so the 10, almost 11 hour trip for this wonderful convention and the opportunity to see an old friend again and some family was completely worth it.

My husband couldn’t get the time off work so the kids and I made a whole week of the trip and spent Tuesday driving, Wednesday playing with cousins in the pool, Thursday through Saturday in Richmond for the convention, visiting a good friend,  and hotel pool play, and Sunday at church with family and pool time again. Monday was a big day filled with going to the National Zoo in D.C. and taking a boat tour of some of the D.C. monuments.  It was a long day but lots of fun! (Other than the massive headache I ended it with that made it hard to even move or see straight…I’m thankful those don’t hit often)

The convention wasn’t what I originally dreamed it would be for me… a complete mommy break with me slowly strolling the convention booths and thoughtfully considering the plethora of choices that are presented. (whew! That was a sweet dream, but not a practical one!)

Instead, I had our four blessings with me, we drove around the 6 block radius of the convention hall for almost a half hour looking for available parking, stomachs were hungry after walking through one aisle. One! Ha! So we took a break within the first 20 minutes and spilled our drinks, chips, and various other munchies in the table area.

I made a decision after realizing that going to sessions wasn’t practical with four kids to purchase the convention MP3’s and that decision was so very freeing to me. I didn’t have to be upset that I was missing encouragement and refreshment or new ideas, I’d get them later and focus on enjoying my children now. I’m so thankful I did that!

God cares about my heart and wanted me to enjoy the children that I had been dreaming of having an escape from! We all had a great time, the boys enjoyed controlling Robots and getting their “robot drivers license”, the girls made bracelets, we played with puppets, watched amazing young jugglers, shopped the massive used curriculum, and my highlight was getting to meet Debbie Strayer.

I really had not heard of her before, but God knew she was exactly who I needed to speak with and be encouraged through. Debbie is the author of Gaining Confidence to Teach, and the co-author of the Trailguide to Learning series. (there are more too, but those are the key one’s I’ve looked at) 🙂  I spent a lot of time (at least the kids thought so) at her Geography Matters booth and even left after one conversation and came back in an hour or so for more.  She was friendly, understanding, empathetic, and offered practical solutions laced with grace and wisdom. She felt like someone I could easily spend hours at the kitchen table chatting with and an oasis to me as I have felt my soul to be in an emotional desert for some time. (especially in the long dark winters of our north country dwelling place)

I began reading her Gaining Confidence to Teach last night as it just came in the mail and within the first 3 pages she showed me again why I so enjoyed our short conversations together. Her daughter put it best… “She lives in the real world, she knows things aren’t always perfect”. (her daughter told me this when I was going to have the children apologize to Debbie for her having to sit them down and stop a squabble)

That’s it! That’s why I connected with her, I love transparent and real people. She is a woman who understands that life happens and chooses to allow God to teach through those happenings and make her a more effective ministry to others for Him. It’s what I desire, what I’ve been taught by wise leaders in my youth, to take each moment good or bad, and to glorify God because of it.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Some people think we as Christians shouldn’t share when we are having a hard day or season or when we are struggling in certain areas, but in truth, in hiding our own weaknesses we are hiding the ability for others to see God at work in us.  I’m not saying we should be complaining or moping, or constantly negative, but things happen in life that aren’t fun! IF we are vigilant to seek God’s will for each happening, we are bound to bring glory to Him, or perhaps someone else may be able to help our perspective change to see His hand. I desire to always be willing to be used by God, even  if I feel inadequate. According to the above verse it would show God’s power even more greatly if I know that I was weak so that His power would be perfected.


Through my eyes…

I’m a little unsure of myself on this journey online,  but I have to say,  the pressure is felt and does affect me and my choices. 
Did you read chapter one? 
As with any book,  her social media examples  become more dated and less familiar,  but I do vaguely remember that orange monster trying to get the woman to eat.  I get the picture on my own too though,  night times at home can be a temptation smorgasbord of delights.  The kids are finally down and all I seem to want to do is sit and snack and completely vege out.  I’ve being doing better at either not walking in the kitchen at all,  or talking myself out of the open door to frozen dairy wonders.  😉
I love the look at Eve’s temptation versus Jesus’ temptation and the bottom line being where our sights are set.  Jesus, despite His complete manhood being in need of nourishment and escape from circumstances kept His allegiance and heart set on the Bible and God’s ultimate plan. 
Eve had a garden created flawlessly and with abundance of fruits by a God she was able to daily walk and talk with and yet she still fell to the serpents tempting.  I will fail and succumb the temptation as well, because of that one choice,  over food.  Ironic.  Even more so because I too have to ability to walk and talk with God daily, and sometimes I stand Him up in my attempts to do life my way.  In missing that connection I do believe Lysa’s premise that we are Made to Crave,  and it is indeed God Himself, our creator and king, that we are to crave. 
I’ve found myself craving a craving in life before.  Desiring to be passionate about a cause,  career,  hobby,  or anything!  What I truly need to be passionate about,  even when I’m tired from the day, the cleaning,  ironing,  children, schooling,  shopping,  or even traveling,  is my own cravings to be in a closer walk with God so that I am armed with His word when temptations of eating,  sleeping too much,  or wanting more of nothing come my way I can stand firm as Christ did and be ministered to more because of following Him, than I would be by those instances of pleasure.  Did you notice that part of Jesus’ temptation?  When He gave Satan the final no and vacate demand,  He was then cared for by angels.  God cares about our daily needs, we just need to be more in tune with need vs. desire and trust that He will minister to our needs and even delight in our desires, if our eyes and hearts are first set to crave Him. 
Have a wonderful Sunday! 

Baby steps on a long journey

Hello again. It’s been a while since I’ve been back on the computer to let you in on what is going to be happening with our Made To Crave study and walk together.

It took until Monday for me to get my book/workbook delivered and Tuesday I traveled 8 hours with our 4 kiddos to WV. I’m here and in VA for a week, but the study MUST start no matter where I am located, because after all, that is part of life… taking trips and staying healthy at the same time.

I have the workbook, but after getting it and looking through it, we will not be able to maximize its usefulness in our online sisterhood. So much of what is filled in on the pages of that book are for notes from the study DVD session. BUT, it isn’t a waste, there are great “Between the Sessions” daily personal Bible study prompters for us to utilize. It looks like in those daily plans she lays out to cover a chapter every other day. So we’ll stick with that agenda too.

So, I will start with chapter one due Friday (just in case someone still needs the book).

Sunday the 10th we’ll talk about chapter 2.

Tuesday the 12th we’ll talk about chapter 3.

Thursday the 14th we’ll talk about chapter 4….

You get the picture. I’ll post next steps in each chapter chat.

So how are you doing? I’ve lost 3 pounds just since I started talking about this study so I am excited to see where our journey leads.

I enjoy watching Dr. Oz and so I will also be putting helpful hints from him in some of my posts as well.

One that has already helped me is when I am able to I try to eat something high in fiber about 20 minutes before I have a meal so that I feel full faster and am contented on less.

So happy reading to you, grab a notebook and have some heart to heart with yourself on her personal reflections questions at the end as well.