Monday, October 17, 2011

bringing my A game

 day 1, on a schedule: oh thaaaat's what all the fuss is about! when i would tell other people that we didn't really have a schedule, i would get looks. i would stammer and say things like, "well, it's just a very loose schedule," and it was - very loose. i know that i've only been at it for one day and a ton can change, but i really like having it all laid out in front of me, on paper, what is to happen next.
 i did wake up an hour late this morning (according to the schedule), and we did end up pushing everything back about 15 minutes. i forgot to take into account that transitions are s-l-o-w with young ins, but during nap time i got caught up with that time loss buy waking up the kiddos earlier. i thought it might help with putting them to bed and falling asleep earlier but it still took them both about an hour to get quiet in their rooms tonight - that doesn't usually happen.
 i even found that i had time that i didn't know i had! does that make sense? grant it, i'm waking up earlier, so i do have "extra time", but i feel it! so i didn't get all bent out of shape feeling like i was racing my new schedule with the clock.
 oh yeah, and the hubs was super excited about the schedule too! tonight he thanked me for "bringing my A game."
 day 2? bring it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

time keeps on ticking ...

 here's my challenge for this week: i am going to make a schedule, pray over it, and stick to it.
 why? because their just doesn't ever seem to be enough time.
  (side note: when i awoke this morning, the first thing i said as i got out of bed was, "time keeps on ticking - ticking - ticking-" my husband, awake though i didn't know it yet, finished the line for me, "into the future - ")
 why is this a challenge you ask? because i don't like schedules, they make me feel ... rushed ... pressed for time. no need to feel this way though, because it will be an all day type of schedule, which means i've got all day. the same 24 hours each day holds, no more, no less, no rush, right? that will be what i remind myself if i start to feel anxious about it.
 why pray over it? because i want to hand my day over to the Lord - it is His day, for me to do His will. while i may have certain desires for the out come of each and every day, ultimately, i want whatever He has in store for me. so i'll be praying, making my schedule, praying over it and then be open for His changes - i'm sure they will come :)
 i'm off to go make my schedule and i'll keep a log here how it's all going. i can't say that every night i'll update, but i'll do my best :)

striving for intention

 oh hello there blog ~ i have been gone for a while. thinking...thinking...thinking about all this striving.
a little while ago i stumbled across a new blog and really enjoyed reading it. then it threw me for a loop! in this insightful, scripture filled blog, this women of God, was saying (basically speaking) stop striving.
 hold the phone!
 i know, i know - you maybe wondering what in the world did i care what this blogger was saying? i cared because i could tell she cared. i cared because i believed in what she was saying. i cared because i was striving.
 here is the difference in what she was saying and what i am doing. yes, it did take me much prayer and careful thought to understand this.
 basically, she was saying stop trying to be one person and embrace the person God created you to be. that no matter how hard you try to do right, to think right, to speak right, it will not save you. it will not get you to God. that the only one, true and honest way to Him is through His son Jesus Christ. (john 14:6) that simply saying the prayer is not all their is to it. that you have to have the heart change. the veil must be lifted from your eyes to see the difference in knowing who Christ is and accepting who He is and what He did as our saviour. to fall in love with Him because He first loved us. (1john 1:19)
 i don't know why it took me so long to see that my striving was in fact a desire to be a better slave for Him. that truly is where this blog birthed itself. i had to remind myself that i am okay with who i am - crazy as that may be! i am a daughter of the King and i do want to please Him. in that desire, i have to keep myself in check. that my mouth, hands, thoughts must all be held accountable to the blood that so lovingly washed them clean from the filth that my sin nature wants to grab for sometimes. this blog was to be my accountability. a way for me to log and share my struggles and my desires for bettering myself.
 yes striving on a daily basis can be hard but when the intention is right, it is like a Love salve for the soul. i keep reminding myself too, anything worth changing isn't going to be easy.
 so after much mulling it over in my own messy head - i am back at it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

i am sweet and sour sauce

 i love chinese food. whenever we go to a new chinese restaurant i always order sweet and sour pork (or chicken) first. it's this dish that determines my opinion of the new restaurant. no really. it should be pretty basic right? the effort put into basic should carry over into the effort put into the not so basic, right?
  in my opinion their are two types of sweet and sour sauce. good and bad.
 the good: on the thicker side, with bits of pineapple and carrots. and if they're really paying attention to detail, the carrots will be julienned and sliced penny sized!
  the bad: thin, runny, sauce; no pineapple, no carrots = no good.
  i know - i know what your thinking, maybe with the economy the way that it is, they have to cut back on pineapple bits and julienned carrot slices. maybe? but they will then end up on my "not so favorite list" of chinese restaurants.
  where am i going here,,,i know i had a point... i yeah!
  so i missed a few days - in a row - of early morning prayer, alone with the Lord. yes, i did! and i made an observation.
  i am sweet and sour sauce!
  no-really! on the days that i start off right, coffee date kept with the Almighty, my whole being, my whole spirit, is on the sweeter side. the days that i sleep extra, or just have kids waking up to the sound of my clock beeping, i am a little more sour. i'm not talking doctor jeckel and mr hyde here, not quite. but their is a significant difference.
  so much so, that when i do start my day off right, keeping my coffee date with the King, it gets blessed with pineapple bits and julienned carrot slices! not literally, they don't fall from the ceiling slathered in thick sweet and sour sauce. but rather, i notice my blessings, am quicker to point them out, quicker to point Him out, to point others to Him, to be lesser so that He can be greater.
  otherwise i feel like the sad version of sweet and sour sauce, a thin, runny sauce, with no blessing of pineapple and carrots floating around ( at least it's harder to find them ).
  call me crazy? that's alright with me. this is just the way i see it.
  a strange thing happened this morning, and perhaps this is just too far over the edge but bare with me. my clock went off at 7:00 a.m. this morning. i was up at 6:00 and should have just gotten up, but instead i thought 'oooow! i'm gonna get another hour of sleep here!' when my clock went off at 7:00 i pushed brew on my coffee maker on my bed side table and fell back to sleep - nooooooo!
  yes, but here's the thing, i had the strangest dream! i dreamt that i was picked up from work ( i don't actually work outside of my home - unless you count gardening and yard work ) picked up by a faceless man - who drove me - in reverse - from the outside of the car - through my town - while spinning fire balls in his hands and causing explosions.    
................................... i know ...................... weird! ..........................................
  when i woke up it was a minute after 8:00! way late for coffee with the King! i pictured Him (as best as any earthly being could ) sitting, coffee cup in one hand, taping the fingers of the other and maybe even one of his feet, waiting. looking around and waiting. and i never showed up! i have been standing up the king!
  shame on me!
  as i got up and grabbed my now cold coffee, the burner no longer keeps the cup warm, i kept thinking about this dream. what in the world could it mean? i know i was wanting to get up and out of bed. i know i was wanting to choose the Lord over sleep. i know i have been hard on myself for not keeping this date lately.        i kept on thinking about this dream.
  here is where i may loose you. probably the dream meant nothing at all. me? i like to find meaning in everything, so this is what i think it means.
  being picked up by a faceless man - who drove the car from the outside of the vehicle - in reverse - and spun fire around his hands and caused explosions; maybe this is what life is like when i'm not handing it all over the Lord? maybe it's like letting a faceless man - the enemy - drive me - direct me - from a slight distance - in reverse - in confusion - showing me problems and causing problems along the way.
  sound far fetched? it made sense to me.
  personally, i'd rather be driven, from very close - say my heart - in a forward facing motion - if even it's foggy and i can't see what's in front of me - whose hands hold, and heal, and love, and show grace and mercy, and instead of causing problems they mend and fix problems, that maybe even i've created, or just witnessed.
    really? it just made me sad that i missed my coffee date this morning. and don't get me wrong here, it's not that i didn't pray at all today, that still happened, tons. but tithing my first bit of the day, sacrificing my treasured sleep, making the point to keep my coffee date, and spending it alone with He who desires me most - is not to be missed - ever
.....could this be difference in choosing sweet over sour? ......
  so with all that in mind, shared and wishing to spend tomorrows quiet morning with my morning Prayer Partner, i must sign off and head to bed.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

insecurities in a mothers heart

  today's intentional challenge was to have fun with my children and make sure they had fun with me. lately life has me running a little more then usual, and at the end of the day, when tucking my children into bed, i find myself thinking "i missed you today!" even though we were together all day long! i don't want this to become our new normal so this is a great challenge for right now, although it doesn't seem like a very hard challenge. who doesn't like to have fun with their children? who doesn't want their children to have fun with them? it seems like a no brain'er.
  the day started out great, coffee with the King! when the children awoke the clouds were full and seemingly ready to pop at any minuet. we took our chocolate milk and coffee (no! i was the one drinking the coffee, silly!) and went out on the front stoop to watch the dark clouds roll in. it was a while before rain ever fell and before we knew it we were riding bikes and talking about the "night time bugs" sounding very similar to the "early morning bugs."
  when the skies did finally open up and rain fell in buckets we retreated indoors were my daughter felt it necessary to become bully to her big brother. okay, she is two, but what in the world? i had a wonderful time really listening to my four year old son talk about this and that. we learned how to fold tons of paper air planes off of youtube tutorials. we looked long and hard until we finally found darth vader's arm. but my daughter, it just seemed like i spent the whole day reprimanding her and wishing she'd get the point so she could stay off of time out. is it possible that she spent more time on time out then she did off of time out today? ,,, *thinking it over* ,,, yes!
  it's so easy for me to ask myself, what was i doing wrong? it's so easy for me to look back and think maybe she was jealous of something i was doing with my son and not her. it's soo easy for me to make excuses for her bad behavior. it's soo easy for me to overlook the fact that she has a free will and no shame in throwing her favorite toy directly at her brother, then crying because he has it in his lap, even if it's there because she threw it at him in the first place.
  do all parents do this? have these strange insecurities? even to the point where they start to blame themselves for their children's bad behavior?
  grace ~ grace ~ grace. with her, with me, and isn't that her name? did the Lord prompt me to name her Grace because it was the cherished nick-named  my mom used to call me, or because i need to remember to have tons of it? perhaps both? either way, i don't know why this sudden urge to throw objects at her brother was so stronge in her today. i do know, however, it cannot continue.
  prayer for wisdom and discernment, strength to be consistent with my reprimanding her in general, this will be at the forefront of my mind all day tomorrow. in fact, this will be one of my intentional challenges for tomorrow. what a disservice it would be to the Lord, to her, to me, her family and friends if we baby her all her life. now of course i'm thinking in drastic terms here, but we do let her get away with far more then we ever let our first born.  he's not perfect and that's not what i'm saying here, but her flesh and free will aside, we are deffinatly parenting her differently, and not on purpose. perhaps we are forgetting to parent her intentionally? we've gotten 'lax and thats what "they" say happens after the first born. but does that make it okay? maybe in some areas, but i'm sure not in all. i am overthinking this now and so i'll move on.
  i've also wanted for the past two weeks to take time out to sit and write some "snail mail." now that i'm thinking of it, i'm a month late with "thank you notes" for my daughters birthday. i love "snail mail!" i love to write it and receive it and i've been really wanting to get back into it. so much so that i have a pile of cards and stamps waiting for me to write and send off to be received with love intended for the receipients. tomorrow i want to get at least three of them finished and out in the box! intentional words of love and encouragement, who deosn't need more of that in thier lives?
  so tomorrow i will intentionally be consistant with my child training, not lazy as i have been in the past. and i will also intentionally sit and write to some friends that have been on my heart for weeks. tomorrow is bound to be a great day!


Monday, August 8, 2011

courting the Almighty

  this morning went well! i awoke at 6:00 a.m. with no alarm clock because my clock is set for 7:00 a.m.  i fell back to sleep for 50 extra minuets and yes, i could have gotten up at 6:00, but i didn't. the cool thing is, that i did stick to my 7:00 a.m. plan and spent time alone with the Lord, and that is better then the past three days!
  i was reminded today how a friend had asked me how she could get to know God better and be closer with Him. of course i told her to spend time in the Word, the bible. but the thing that i really wanted to impress upon her heart was to court the Lord. i think it kind of freaked her out at first. i asked her how she felt about her husband when they first met. how often did she see him or at least want to. how often did she talk to him or at least want to. i told her that kind of effort needed to go into getting closer with with God. that she needed to court Him. to spend time with Him. carve time out of her life and spend it with Him. sing love songs to Him. share Him with her girl friends ... well, at least tell them how much He means to you and that you really want them to have Him in their lives. court Him. court the Almighty. allow yourself to fall madly, deeply, crazily in love with Him.  become His bride.
  we kind of lost touch, this old friend of mine and i. she's doing her thing and i'm doing mine. but i'm thinking about that statement i made to her. i'm lovin' the thought of it. to intentionally fall deeply, madly, crazily in love with the Most High. to court him!  yes,  i'm lovin' falling back in love with God!
  as for my two daily challenges today, they were in fact a challenge. i had a very mentally busy day.  deep conversation with my pop pop and trying to recall bible verses when he asked me to. ( for anyone who doesn't know, i have only been able to learn bible verses to the tune of songs. oddly, these tunes are ones that i make up in my mind. how can i remember new tunes that i've never heard before and not bible verses that i study at length? strange the way the mind works, yes?) so deep theological thinking ( and i'm not naturally a deep thinker ) while making lunch and also answer questions from my nana and children, all the while tending to the needs of those wo very excited great-grand kids. what? i'm sorry, did someone say something about not multitasking my multitasking? let me just be blunt here:  EPIC FAIL! although i think i was pretty patient through it all.
  also, my son barfed big time at the dinner table tonight. and if you know my son, you know his drama. present? nope. while cleaning up that mess i did, in fact, think of another time and place. patient? nope. while he was screaming that "it felt like his head wanted to explode" my patience didn't deepen any. although all the important "hearing parts" my ears did run away to find another more quieter head to co-habitat in. i did have to ask his daddy for help with that one. usually i'm the one that does better with barf, but not tonight.
  given the circumstances i think those are reasonable times to not be so very present and all in the moment. and what better parenting skills then when you have a willing partner to tag-team in times of throw-up and temper tantrums?
  a cool thing that did happen today, while my son was laying in bed being soothed to the original superman movie (yes, i moved an old t.v. into his room so he wouldn't feel so all alone. i am serious about quarantining sickness ) my daughter being baby-sat by the most trusted four year in the whole world, caillou ( yes the bald cartoon kid from pbs who gets his way weather he deserves it or not ) my husband and i stole a moment together on the front stoop. don't call child services yet, we were within ear shot of both our children who sat quietly in front of our trusted t.v. baby sitters. (and again, their goes our nominee for "parents of the year" *sigh*)
  my husband has decided to try daily challenges of striving for intention! we talked about how sometimes we feel closer to God then others. how God never moves, He's also there, always constant and always keeps His promises. that when we feel farther away from Him, it's us that have moved. his challenge for tomorrow is pretty cool but i don't have permission to write about it, yet. i forgot to ask him before he went to sleep, so maybe tomorrow i can give you a glimpse into his striving for intention. i love how contagious this is!
  tomorrow my challenge is simple, make sure i'm having fun with my kids and that they are having fun too. this may be a difficult one if i have a sickie or two on my hands, but a great one nonetheless. sometimes our days get so busy, and i get so caught up in what i'm doing that at the end of the day, when i'm tucking my children into bed, i find myself saying to them, "i really missed you today!" the thing is we are always together. but when i feel busy and over loaded, even while i'm with them, i don't always enjoy them as i much as i wished i did. today was one of those days. tomorrow, prayerfully, will not be.

present and patient

   i've decided not to write any more about the elizabeth george book life management for busy women living God's plan with passion and purpose. for no other reason but i don't have permission to be quoting her and i'm not honestly sure i'm allowed to be giving chunks of a book away. however, please - please - please know, this is such a great book and i still stand firmly behind it and say it's a must read! unless i feel led otherwise, and i'm able to summarize better, i'm not going to be sharing any more from it. or unless elizabeth george herself gives me permission - lol! in the mean time, try to get your hands on a copy and i'll continue to share with you how i'm doing with my waking up early to be alone with the Lord.
  here is a link you should totally check out! on this website is a free ebook! it's available to download if your interested in "maximizing your mornings" with a jump start from the Lord. i found it months ago and while learning more about my net book i stumbled across the ebook that i downloaded and praise Jesus - it's all about helping you start your day off right - with the Lord! and with a few extra great ideas too! i highly recommend it. during the time i was praying weather or not to keep sharing the elizabeth george book is when i found this free ebook that i had downloaded and then forgot about (or just didn't know where it was). i started reading it and though, "hummmm, i need to share this with my blog readers! so there you have it.
   so today i've decided that my intentional challenge is going to be, to be present and patient. i'm still getting up early to have my quiet time with the Lord. i'm still also making sure to practice only doing one thing at a time and doing it for the Lord. i'm still making sure that i'm not multitasking my multitasking.
  this challenge today will be a good one because i'm excited for my grandparents to be visiting and i'll also be taking care of my new nephew in the afternoon. he may be new to our family, but he - himself isn't new. he's eight, and he and my son play very well together!
  being present and patient will be difficult for me because i'm going to want to be looking ahead to the visits and wanting to be making everything perfect for when everyone comes. their is just something about when my grandparents come, i really want everything to be ... i'm not even sure. it's not that i want the house to be spic and span beyond neat and tidy. i guess, just comfortable and welcoming for them. the temptation to buzz about like an angry bee, making everything "just so" will be great, but more then anything i'd like to have a nice morning with my children before things get busy and appreciate the quiet before the loudness arrives.
  so intentionally being in each and every moment enjoying it and shinning Jesus' love as often as i can, and intentionally being patient in each and every moment and enjoying what it has to bring are my two big challenges for tomorrow. it's late and now i need to go set up my coffee pot and my alarm clock! goodnight.