Friday, December 14, 2012

Blessons ...The blessings that are constant lessons.

“Children are such a blessing!”

“Congratulations on the blessing of your marriage!”

These things truly are blessings from God above, however they don’t always seem like it do they?  The Bible clearly states both marriage and offspring to be a blessing.
Ps 128:3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
    In the very heart of your house,
    Your children like olive plants
    All around your table.

I don’t know about you, but the type of vine my spouse represents seems to be more of a weed than a fruitful vine most of the time. Why is this? The fruitful vine in the passage is a slender plant that grows across the ground unless placed on supports. Our spouse could be that fruitful vine we are looking for, but maybe we need to look on the ground, and lift them up and support them.

Gen 2:18‭ ‬And the Lord God said,‭ “‬It‭ ‬is not good that man should be alone‭; ‬I will make him a helper comparable to him.‭”

A supported spouse is more likely to be fruitful, and the kind of “vine” that we all seem to be looking for. Stop looking elsewhere admiring better “vines”, and don't point out the flaws of your own if you've neglected to support it. Start at home and take care of the fruitful vine that God has already placed at your feet. Take this blessing and learn all the lessons you can from it. Marriage is hard, but when you let Christ lead you through it, the blessings are wonderful.

Ps 128:3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
    In the very heart of your house,
    Your children like olive plants
    All around your table.

In the time the Bible was written, olive plants were practically priceless. I’m sure my children are priceless... (I know that deep down) but more days than not, I feel like I would pay someone to "borrow" them for a moment of my own sanity. When you look further into scripture you understand that not only was the olive plant priceless, but it was an essential part of life for the rich and poor. The wood was hard and used in special furniture and statues. The oil was used to anoint kings and prophets. It was also used in cooking, cosmetics, and medicine. The olives themselves were pickled and an important part of yearly food storage. When you owned an olive plant, it could bless your family in all these ways.
    My children are priceless not because they are geniuses or will compose the next great musical master piece.  (Heck I’m even dreading the years of piano lessons). Our children are priceless because God has given each of them the talents and abilities to be able to further bless our family. The lesson comes in the fact that we as parents need to cultivate each of our precious “olive plants” into the young people and adults that we want them to be, as a blessing to us and as a blessing to society.
    Let’s stop with the selfishness of materialism for ourselves as parents but also for our children. Raising a child is a non-stop learning process for both the child and the parent. What are we doing to love and teach our children right now? They should be our focus. We need to focus on the children in front of us and remember that it is solely our jobs as owners of these “plants” to raise them.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Escape from your vices!

vice n.

a. An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit.
b. A serious moral failing.
c. Wicked or evil conduct or habits; corruption.
A vice is different than a pet-peeve or a bad habit. A vice is something that corrupts your way of thinking and your day to day life. A vise effects the outcome of not only this particular day, but every decision made in this day, thus effecting the future as well. What are your vises? I'm not talking about your list of bad habits, pet peeves or personality quirks, though some of those may fit under the "vise" category as well.

What are the things that put an immediate damper on your day for no real goo reason? No one's fault, not even our own, but yet we let these things get to us. We let them ruin our day and effect all those unprepared souls around us for the wrath of our dismal day to follow. I am just as guilty as any other  (if not MORE so) when it comes to ranting on social media. And as we all know, this solves nothing. If anything, it just makes the problems worse. We are above the middle school stage of passing notes and snide looks... or so I thought.

Using the definitions above to identify your top 3-5 vices (No more than 5, we want to be able to focus). Now with this list make a solid effort to release yourself from these vices. These are the things the devil loves. This is where he thrives. This is his favorite part of you. If that's not reason enough to run away from the vices fast, than I don't know what is. Here are mine.
a. An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit.
           I get full of contempt every single time I have to do the dishes (which is every day, since it is solely my job).  I always get upset that no one will do them for me, even though I know it is my responsibility and my job, and I should be happy to bless my family by using my talents in such a way to show my love for them daily.

b. A serious moral failing.
          I continually fail to get into God's word, both for me AND my girls. My inner voice tells me that I know all there is to know about my Lord and Savior, and that digging deeper won't get me anything additional: emotional or spiritually. Through so many personal testimonies, I know that to be false. Besides all of that, it is SO extremely important for me to take over the Head of the Household position until the right person is ready to step up. I cannot wait for someone else to take action in this area, but for now I need to trust that God has put this into my hands for a reason.
 c. Wicked or evil conduct or habits; corruption.
          My evil and corrupt thoughts boil down to one main thing. Blame. I blame others for my shortcomings. I blame others for my lack of connection to God. I blame others for my sin and the ease in which I fall back into sin.
Blame started in the Garden of Eden, with Adam blaming Eve, who blamed the Devil, who blamed God for for putting temptation in their faces.

Conclusion: God loves ME (and you!) so much that he sent his son to be punished for me. He sent Jesus to take all of my vices on his shoulders. My vices are all to be thrown onto him. My worry is gone. My sins have disappeared. I am perfect. Through Jesus perfect life, God seeing me as holy and an acceptable guest at his banquet table. Now let's spend every day thanking Jesus for the sacrifice He made for us His children, whom He loves more than anything, and give praises of pure Joy and  Hallelujah to my God and Father for sacrificing His only son for millions, just so I can deserve to be in His presence.

My personal Father,
   Thank you for everything You have chosen for me. The strength and courage You showed here on earth is just a small example of Your wonder and endless love. I hope and prey to know You more and more, so I can continue to properly thank you for all You have given me through eternal life and through earthly peace by releasing me from my earthly vices.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

28 things

I decided to make a list of 28 things to do before my next birthday (Sep 14) and here it is:

1. Get my Drivers License (That's right, I still don't have one)
2. Go to The Ledges in Boone, IA (Never been there!)
3. Make an Ice Cream Cake
4. Go to a movie on opening night.
5. Make a quilt.
6. Host a "Party" (ie 31, tupperware, clever container)
7. Make noodles from scratch.
8. Complete a 5k. (This will NOT be easy, as I consider 200m to be long distance)
9. Teach 2 people how to sew/craft. (Believe it or not, some people don't know how!)
10. Find/Choose a home church.
11. Complete a FaceBook Fast (maybe start with 24 hrs, and work up to a week?)
12. Make a pie from scratch.
13. Have a date night with dinner & a movie.
14. Make a board game.
15. Go through EVERY item of clothing in the house, and minimize.
16. Go one month spending only $50/wk on food & house supplies.
17. Create a picture collage for each year Mike & I have been together.
18. Go to a Zoo with the girls. (ANY Zoo)
19. Learn to crochet. (Hopefully it isn't as dangerous as knitting)
20. Make Butter! (And cheese if I get really crazy!)
21. Make a dress/skirt for each of the girls.
22. Participate in the 2013 Iowa Games.

:+:+: The last few are kind of vague, but I have attempted to quantify them, comparing to my current participation in each activity now, to my hopeful goals. :+:+:
(I will be tracking them on my FlyLady Calendar!)

23. Send more (snail) mail. -at least once a month.
24. Read more (not at the computer). -Once a week?
25. Exercise more. -Twice a week.
26. Journal/Blog more. -Once a week.
27. Spend time in spiritual devotion. -Twice a week.

And my favorite (Every mom will understand)...
28. Sleep in until... I wake up!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year with Resolutions to Keep.... or Break

Every year people all over the world make resolutions to start the year with great intentions. Unfortunately by mid February, the intentions and zeal of the resolutions are long forgotten. I am one of those people. I hate that when you make resolutions, you almost always reach for too high a goal, and set yourself up for failure. It's either that or the goal isn't a measurable thing i.e. "Be healthy" or "Stop Worrying." I decided to keep this all in mind when making my resolutions for 2012.

1. Go to bed between 9:30-10:30pm most of the time.
-This was actually a resolution from 2011 that I did a descent job of keeping... but it's not quite habit yet.
2. Get reacquainted w/ FlyLady and her wonderful purple ways.  
-For those of you that don't know: is a wonderful site full of tips and methods for cleaning, organizing and decluttering your home AND keeping it that way.
3. Unpack and declutter ALL boxes from us moving in November.
-I love this one because it is a very measurable/visual goal.
4. Finish reading the 4 books I started last year- AND review them (on here).
-Last year my resolutions included "Read 6 books". Well I failed at that, but I did START 4 books :)
4. Start blogging again...once a week?
-Again this is a measurable goal. Yay!

Notice that I have nothing on the list referring to losing weight or getting in shape. It's not that those aren't goals of mine (in actuality they are HUGE goals). It's more that I don't want to list these things as ToDo's... :)