Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Week in Review

The last couple of weeks have flown by and I did not take the time to blog.

We have faced sickness, teething, a Seder dinner, four Easter services, a short-notice day trip to Cheyenne, "regular" ministry responsibilities, our second anniversary, vacuumed and did one load of laundry.

I have also faced a bout of discouragement and feelings of been completely overwhelmed. There has also been a twinge of jealousy regarding what others have and a dose of pride regarding what I have given up.

God is so gracious to rebuke and correct my misplaced desires.

He alone satisfies.

I find myself expressing unBiblical ideas such as, "It is so hard," more than I ever should. Do I believe the Bible is true and that God has given me "all I need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1)? Do I believe that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)? And, if I do believe it, but do not live it what good is that?

"If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do nothing for ever and ever. There are unemployables in the spiritual domain, spiritually decrepit people, who refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not." (Read the full entry here.)

There are seasons of life and not one of them has all the joy, nor is there one with all the pain either. God gives and He takes away. He sends the sun to shine on wicked people every morning and even the righteous must endure the storms.

Discouraging times come from the enemy to distract me from the Truth. I have hope in God- hope of eternal life and the promise of everlasting joy. I have been given a peace that no one can buy. Jealousy over possessions others may have is only my heart deceiving itself into thinking those things last. Jesus did not die and rise again so I can live the American Dream.

And He did not leave me on the earth so that I could spend my days trying to obtain it.

The Gospel is worth far more than that.

Monday, April 18, 2011

M is for: Monday, Ministry and Marriage

(Some family fun last week!)

I am so stinkin' tired emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Last week was draining in so many different ways and I just wish I could take a day and sleep.

That is not possible, but one can dream!

Yesterday was really, really, really long (welcome to the new normal). We were out all day at church, my parents and then back to church (insert YAWN). It is exhausting to take care of a 7 month old at church (he is not in the nursery yet), do normal Junior High activities (of which I lead a game that went pathetically wrong), talk with 76 people (which drains me after about the third conversation), sit through the second service (a great message!), attend a meeting (for our mission trip to Pagosa Springs) and do most of that with an empty stomach (when will I learn my 7AM breakfast will NOT last me until a 3PM lunch and bring a snack?!?!). We headed back to church at 6PM after spending time with my family (yay!) to lead the Junior High Discipleship Groups (almost done and they have gone so well!) and attend the evening of prayer with the church (the D-Group students participated, too- what a blessing to watch them grow).

We left the church at 10:15PM.

Welcome to ministry.

Marriage and ministry is a wonderful thing, too. It was a taxing day (no pun intended, but laugh if you must). When we got home last night we were talking about how satisfying it is to serve the Lord. What else would we want to do together?

A. See a movie (wasting $20 and 2.5 hours on junk)?
B. Go out to dinner (Chick-fil-A is our favorite date spot when we get the chance)?
C. Lounge around the house (which we do on occasion, of course)?
D. Serve the Lord (and see eternal blessings all around)?

Definitely D!

(Oh, and 6 days until our second anniversary!)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Savings Saturday: Books!

(NOTE: Ok, so having an alliteration for every day of the week might be overload, but I think it will help me write more frequently and keep my thoughts somewhat organized.)

Today Joel and I spent the morning and early afternoon wandering around town. We had breakfast at Chick-fil-A (LOVE them) and then went to a nearby Christian bookstore in search of some books about this generation.

The Christian bookstore could only offer us books by or endorsed by Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and other emergent pastors (holding back a major rant here!). We were disappointed and decided to go to Goodwill instead. We have found that Goodwill usually has a nice selection of Christian books (sadly) and we would much rather pay $0.99 than $15.95.

The only problem is that it is pretty hit and miss at Goodwill, too. We still love to try and it is relaxing (to us) to browse cheap books. We usually see a lot of books that we already own like My Utmost for His Highest (there is ALWAYS a copy at thrift stores, sad, sad), Boy Meets Girl, and Fresh Wind Fresh Fire (all books we would highly recommend).

We did not find any books on the subject we were looking for, but we did find one amazing deal: The Two Towers Extended Edition DVD set for $2.99! Wooohoooooo! We also bought a potty training book for starting to train before 12 months for $0.99, a Bible memorization devotional called Memorize This for $0.99 and the above mentioned copy of Boy Meets Girl for $0.99.

I thought those were all amazing finds! We were driving home and, low and behold, noticed the Borders bookstore was going out of business and had things up to 80% off! We were in the bargain hunting mood so we decided to stop in there as well. We did not find any reliable books on the topic we originally set out to find, but I did get two books I had been *wanting.* They are: The Vaccine Book for $4.90 and Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months for $5.20.

TOTAL book/ DVD purchases: $16
Original Value: about $110.00
Savings of: 85%

Friday, April 08, 2011

Financial Friday: Thanksgiving

Money has always been intriguing to me. What is it, really? How does money travel from one person to another? What builds an economy? Is it more than numbers? What can I do with it? How much can I save? How far can it go when stretched?

I love having money. I loved watching my bank account grow. I like feeling the "security" (real or not) that having a savings account can bring. Saving money has always been important to me and being careful with how I spend money even more crucial.

The last year I have had to face the loss of money, for several reasons, and God has been teaching me a great deal about letting go. I need to trust Him. He will provide all we need. And, as a matter of fact, I need less money in the bank than I think.

I hope to spend more time writing about my struggles and what I am learning, but for today I wanted to share something I got in the mail:

12 Keys to Financial Stability
TRANSFER ownership back to God (Col. 1:16-17, 1 Chron. 29:11-12)
HUMBLY adjust your lifestyle to live below your means (Pr. 21:20, Dt. 25:13, 1 Pet 5:5-7)
AVOID or eliminate growing indebtedness and surety (Pr. 22:7, Dt. 28:15, 43, 44, Ez. 28:18-18)
NAVIGATE away from financial temptations (Ps. 119:36-37, Tit. 2:12, Rom. 13:14)
KNOW your financial status and goals (Pr. 27:23-24, Pr. 21:5)
SHARE with people in need (Pr. 22:9, Jam. 1:27, 2 Cor. 9:9)
GIVE to God first as your highest financial priority (1 Ki. 17:13-16, Dt. 14:22-23, 2 Cor. 8:7)
INVOLVE yourself in productive work (Pr. 10:4, Pr. 13:4, Mt. 6:33, 2 Thess. 3:9-13)
VIEW every need and desire as a chance to trust God (Mt. 6:11, Ps. 34:10, Ecc. 2:26)
INSERT time into your week to manage your finances (1 Cor. 16:2, Pr. 13:16, 14:23, 24:3, Is. 32:8)
NEVER be dishonest (Pr. 13:11, Pr. 20:17, Pr. 10:2, Eph. 4:28)
GAIN Biblical understanding (Ps. 119:11, 2 Chron. 26:5, 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I did, amazingly, get my To Do list below done!

Jeremiah is still sleeping. Wednesday night at Jr. High wipes him out and he usually sleeps longer on Thursday mornings. Ah, so nice for an equally tired mother.

And now I hear him waking up, ha!

To Do Today:
- play with Jeremiah (done!)
- grocery shopping (done!)
- finish laundry (done!)
- meeting at church (done!)

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Epic Fail: Sponge Sanitation

It sounded like such a great idea.

The tip on the website seemed brilliant:
put damp sponge in the microwave for 3-5 minutes every night to sanitize it.

So, Monday night, I tried it.

I will not be doing that every night.

In fact- I will never do that again unless I want a burnt sponge, a house full of plastic scented smoke (that is still lingering three days later) and an evening of frustration (not to mention a headache from the stench).

Epic fail.

(Come to find out this is epic fail #2 of the same brand. I did not think it was possible to have two epic fails of the same nature, but my mom assures me I tried this several years ago and the same thing happened. You would think one would remember the smell and never attempt sponge sanitation via microwave ever again.)
I am grateful for a husband that encourages me to laugh at myself!


I love Katie's honesty in her post yesterday and Dawn's post a few weeks ago. I am sitting here, in wrinkled clothes, with a sleeping baby on my lap (typing one handed) and a long list of things to do (that I am not doing). The house is a semi-mess. The laundry is half done. I cannot remember the last time I dusted. The vacuum has been broken for weeks now and the carpet looks as you might imagine.

People have told me that I always seem to have it together. HA! I think we all feel that way about other people in our lives. It is an easy way the enemy uses to discourage us and make us condemn ourselves.

Please know that I do not have it all together. I struggle with worry more than you may know. I get frustrated at others for things I myself do. I have days where I am so lazy.

I never want to excuse sin, I want to grow and improve, but I know that this side of heaven I will always fall short of perfection.

Praise God for His grace!