Monday, March 31, 2014

Things I Learned in March

1.  I will fall prey to watching weeknight television in the form of Dancing with the Stars if it features the gold medal ice dancing couple of Meryl Davis and Charlie White. 

2.  I will get foot cramps every Monday night from subconsciously pointing my toes during every dance.

3.  I will cry during almost every tribute dance.

4.  I will have to backdate blog posts because of watching DWTS because the show consumes my Monday evenings.

5.  Cooking chicken in the crock pot is my new favorite thing, mostly because I never cooked chicken until now due to having the curse of pink chicken at restaurants and to being a wee bit uneasy about cooking meat.  Thank goodness Mix & Match Mama put a link in her recent menu plan that taught me how to do it.

6.  I love hearing about what the Lord is doing in my mentee's life.

7.  People who come view a house like to turn on random lights, close random doors, leave your pantry door open, sit at your table and on your bed, and use two of your toilets; they have trouble following showing instructions such that they set off your home alarm (4 times and counting); and they are not afraid to track mud all the way to the bath mat in your master bathroom.

8.  The Type A/OCD part of me has a very hard time handling #7, especially when it requires me to re-vacuum and re-mop the floors and to sanitize the bathroom.

9.  The movie God's Not Dead is worth driving 20 miles or more to see.  It's a shame that it wasn't showing in more theaters.

10.  The true baseball experience involves sitting with friends in the stands, cheering on a ten-year-old outfielder, watching him get a great hit, and eating peanuts out of the shell.

What did you learn in March?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Perpective: Bravery

Over the last few weeks, I've developed a new perspective of bravery.  A friend of mine once shared that she heard Jill Briscoe say on the radio that bravery doesn't mean you aren't scared, it just means doing it scared.  In saying "yes" to whatever Christ has called us, it doesn't mean that everything goes perfectly smooth or that it will all turn out perfectly.  Instead, it means saying "yes" and trusting that He will be with you every step of the way.

To my friend who said "yes" to God's prompting to adopt a close relative's baby, knowing that it was risky, you are brave.  And when the birth parents changed their minds a few weeks before the baby arrived and you chose to show up and love on the birth mother and the baby anyway, your bravery was astounding.

To my friend who said "yes" in the form of "I do" over twenty years ago and who chooses to continue to say "yes" to upholding that vow that was made before God even though your husband has done something tragic, you are brave.

To my friend who said "yes," not once but three times, to foster adoption of some little ones who came from birth parents who were incapacitated due to addictions or mental limitations, you are brave.

To my friend who is daily saying "yes" to God as she leans on Him to walk through the storms of dealing with two parents and a husband who have all had major health issues in the past few months, you are brave.

To my friends who have said "yes" to raising their children to know and love the Lord and spend time on their knees on behalf of their children so that they would not get swept up in the culture, you are brave.

And to my mother who said "yes" to raising two girls as a single mom when our dad got sick, you are brave.

I've heard the phrase "obedience produces blessing," and I pray that each of you would be blessed and shown favor by the Lord for your obedience in saying "yes" to what God has called you to do, even if you are doing it scared.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perspective: Empty versus Emptying

Now that the season of Lent has begun, I keep reflecting on the empty tomb.  The fact that Jesus's body was no longer there meant bad news for the guards who were charged with keeping watch, but it meant good news to all who believed:  Jesus had conquered death once and for all.

As I've thought about the empty tomb, I've wondered about what emptying needs to take place in my life during Lent.  Things that come to mind include bitterness, frustration, selfishness, anxiousness, discontentment, and the list could go on.  I know that in my own power, I can't rid myself of these behaviors or reset my default to joy.  I need to tap into the resurrection power that Jesus displayed in emptying the tomb and that He gives to me.

And the best part, even better than being emptied of those things I listed above, is that once they are gone, I then have the capacity to better live out the fruit of the Spirit, showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Who doesn't want that?!

So as you go through Lent, if you decide to give up something, think about what you are making room for and all the good that can be accomplished with His power when you are empty.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:5-7

Monday, March 3, 2014

Things I've (Re)Learned in January & February

Emily Freeman tries to do a post at the end of each month with things that she has learned.  And although I may not do it monthly, I like the idea of thinking back through what I've learned or relearned recently. 

1)  I relearned just how much I like rules.  And I really like when people follow the rules.

2)  Along those same lines, I relearned that I love rules that are absolutes at all times.  For instances, periods and commas ALWAYS go inside quotation marks; there's nothing subjective about that.

3)  I learned that I like keeping Sundays completely task free, meaning that I no longer even attempt to blog on that day.

4)  I was reminded that my prayers are not in vain and that I want in on the Kingdom rewards that come with praying without ceasing, no matter what the circumstances are.

5)  I learned that my allergies are not a fan of 2014's crazy winter weather that can span from 80 degrees to 19 degrees in a matter of twenty-four hours and that the pattern can be repeated multiple times during a month.

6)  I learned that meal planning is not as easy as it looks on blogs.  Tips on successfully doing this weekly are welcomed!

7)  I learned that there's an essential oil to help with just about every ailment but that I'll also gratefully add in the occasional steroid nasal spray when I start itching all over due to #5 above.

8)  I learned just how quickly I devour memoirs after polishing off The Antelope in the Living Room in a matter of hours and Notes from a Blue Bike, which I finished over the span of a few days.

9)  I learned that Ellie Holcomb's new album As Sure as the Sun can brighten up an afternoon or make running errands a lot more enjoyable.

10)  And I've learned that I can't end a list with just nine things.

What fun thing have you learned over the past two months?