Mar 022016
 

Exhaustion set in hard and fast in February. The flu wore me down and the exhaustion took me out. Napping a few times today leaves me with a to-do list that seems to never be to-do{ne}. As many people know I have been dealing with a ton of eye pain, like someone decided to give me a good punch. If you have ever had a sore eye you know how little you want to do and how sensitive you are to pretty much anything. It really is a new level of discomfort that comes in like a thief in the night and robs you of joy.

I saw the optometrist yesterday and he said my eye likely had something viral associated with my having had the flu last month but there was no inflammation or signs of anything wrong now, just discomfort that would have to go away on it’s own. A blessing to know that my eye pain is simply pain and not something threatening my vision, or a rampant infection of some sort that would require antibiotics to mess up my gut health.

Having spent so much time in bed over the past month I have watched several complete series on Netflix and have now restarted watching The X-Files and by, “restarted” I mean I watched season one when it first came out when I was like 8. It was something my grandma and I watched each week on her 13-inch TV set across from the table in her kitchen. We would watch it and play rummy and her heavy smoke would blow into my face. She would brush out my long hair and I would brush out hers. Amazing how a show like the X-Files can bring back memories of a time so long ago, when I was a simple child just chilling with her grandma as much as she could.

Another leaf just fell from the poinsettias set out from Christmas and I am reminded that spring is on it’s way. The plants dropping their bracts are also putting out new leaves, because where there is old, there will be new. New life.

I know this is me rambling away, but honestly, putting together a bunch of thoughts on one thing sounds tedious at the moment. Definitely thinking I should perhaps use a prompt instead of doing this journal style. Oh well. Not today. Tomorrow is our five-minute free write though and that is awesome, something to look forward too, to focus on for that short amount of time. And the chat before it, the FMFParty where we talk about chocolate and books and boyfriends and husbands and kids and chores and sleeping babies and babies that won’t sleep and so much more, because that’s what community is, that’s what friends are for and the best part is that we are on Twitter inviting the world in, because in Christ there is always room for more.

Hello Mornings also started this week and we are focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 and it truly amazes me how when we focus on a verse how quickly things pop out at you in such an amazing way, a way that I had not seen before. I am using Scripture Typer to practise memorizing the chapter and so far I have memorized verses 1-2. Doesn’t seem like much, but it is more than I knew last week and the message is so much more clear.

“But if I have not love, I am nothing” v2

Such a profound statement and so true, especially when myself and many Christians consider Jesus to be LOVE. I can easily read this as “but if I don’t have Jesus, I am nothing.” I love when the Bible speaks to my heart and explains itself to me in such a jolting way. God doesn’t always cause a personal earthquake to get His point across, but when He speaks, it is impossible to not hear!

I serve an awesome God. Enough said?

Jan 082016
 

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

1 In the days when the judges ruled,[a] there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

My Thoughts

This week I have thought a LOT about Ruth and Naomi and the type of women they were and how strong they must’ve been.

We read this week about Naomi losing her husband & her sons. I simply can’t even imagine how much this would hurt or what types of emotions I would feel. I am sure Naomi felt a ton of things.

When I was living a life led by fear I was really in survival mode. Nothing mattered and I couldn’t see through the trees to save my life. I did what I could not knowing God, but I am so excited now to know Him and to know that I won’t ever be in that position again because I have Him!

Right now, God is telling me to make do with what I have and to trust that He will always provide. Money is extremely tight right now and I am not worried about it. I KNOW that God has this and that He will provide so long as I follow Him! It is becoming so much easier to just trust and enjoy what we do have than it is to worry about a bill or where money for food will come from. It amazes me by how peaceful I am in this situation and I know if I didn’t have God right now that I would certainly be panicking.

As far as Naomi and her faith, I am sure it was like when we experience a loss. She likely asked why God was punishing her or how He could allow this to happen to her. Especially when a monotheist faith was fairly new. She may have even wondered if the ‘other gods’ were punishing her for her new faith. However, it is clear that Naomi trusted God even in such turmoil because she followed where He led her and she allowed her story to be one that has touched us for the last few thousand years.

That is amazing and encouraging!

Are you taking the Hello Mornings Challenge? How has it been going for you? Would love to hear what you have learned this week about both Naomi and yourself!!

Apr 282015
 

The bird woke me up this morning screaming mad. His reason? My mom was doing the taxes at the kitchen table, above our room which is NOT where she normally is during the day and it was ruining his schedule! After 2+ hours of him screaming she was done and then, you know what he did? He LAUGHED!!! Then, he had a nap. Because, after screeching for over two hours you get pretty tired.

I woke up and knew it was going to be a bad back day, the pain had already stretched like a belt too tight across my back, the swelling already setting in. Thanks to the bird alarm I was able to take some anti-inflammatories earlier than I normally would have. Which is a definite blessing on days like today.

I have the spring cleaning bug and that is HARD when your back is out of commission. Again though, it is a blessing at the same time. I am not taking out more than I can deal with at once. I am doing things in small spots and am not feeling as overwhelmed and I am being a lot more ruthless with what I decide to keep and toss, because what I decide to keep will need to be maintained and find a home and with a sore back am I really in the mood for any of that?

During this adventure of cleaning I have come to realize one thing. I am allergic to my dead Grandma. Yep, you heard me right. I am allergic to my dead Grandma. Every time I touch her things the smell of cigarette smoke makes my eyes water and my nose burn and I begin to sneeze. So, knowing now that her things that have been stashed in corners with me unwilling to let go has become easier because not only is her stuff that is relatively useless (like two dozen cans of buttons) to me, it is affecting how I use my space AND my health! Sorry Grandma, I am tossing your treasures and keeping only what I really love. It has been 12 years since you passed away and the smoke still bugs me. It is time to let those things go and keep the memories in my heart.

I also decided to toss my toaster and all my canisters from my kitchen, because I have lived with my parents now for a couple of years and I haven’t used those things and don’t have a kitchen of my own to use them in, and well, let’s face it – toast crumbs from several years ago probably aren’t good for anything other than attracting bugs. Goodbye toaster!! I am keeping my blender though, it was brand new. I am also keeping my microwave. Maybe I will set it up and make myself some popcorn when this is all done!

The point though? I am reclaiming my space because I have lived with boxes piled high for far too long full of things I likely never even missed (though, I did find a bag of clothes that I couldn’t find). I deserve to have a happy, clean space that reflects me, that is easy to keep clean, that doesn’t bother my allergies. A place to sew and do puzzles and read and blog and write and
scrapbook without having to worry about an avalanche of miscellaneous falling on my head.

As I have been purging I have been reminding myself that these things are junk and that if/when I need them that GOD WILL PROVIDE,
because God is awesome like that!!

When I am done this drastic clean up the plan is to actually FINISH the dry wall and paint, because I have had my living room set up now for about 2 years and have NEVER sat in it and it is cozy and comfy but the walls aren’t painted so it feels dark and dingy and I deserve better!

How is God speaking in your life right now? Is it on your heart that you deserve more? That God wants you to enjoy the life you have? Are you waking up for your day or to you day? I want to wake up FOR my day and enjoy every moment of it!!

Registration for Hello Mornings is open this week and my group, Invisible Illness – Perfectly Created for His Glory is open to new people! If you suffer from an illness or are a caregiver then come join me as we travel through the life of Joseph during the six week study starting next week! Taking your life back starts with giving to God, because, whatever we give, he has promised we will get back in return. If you don’t have an illness but would still love to join in feel free or find a different group on the Hello Mornings website! Remember registration is only open this week for the next study!! Hope to see some familiar faces!

Apr 222015
 

I am excited about the coming Hello Mornings session. It is on the life of Joseph which should be interesting and take us into many different parts of the Bible. Normally we focus on one book of the Bible at a time.

I am also excited about some of the changes being made. First, have you seen the Hello Mornings website? GORGEOUS redesign and really user friendly. Second, my group is going through a ton, and I mean a TON of change with only a few original members staying due to summer being around the corner (or so the calendar says). Lastly, I get to lead with the lovely Diane who has a lot of HMC experience and even better, a true heart and spirit for our Lord and the Word. She is such an encouragement to me on a daily basis and I am so excited for her to jump in and spread that joyful spirit to the group!

Open registration starts next week. That means if you haven’t been a participant before you can sign up next week and find a group and join in on the Hello Mornings website!! You can use Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram as your platform of choice!

If you have been a participant in the past you can login right now and switch groups if your heart feels called to do so or you can stay right where you are and everything will be sent straight to you closer to our start date, May 4th.

I do suggest that you take a peak to see if you are in a group or not as during this housekeeping phase us group-leaders often go ahead and delete anyone who we haven’t heard from or who hasn’t verified if they are staying or going, because groups are limited to a small number of members and we want everyone who is participating to have a chance to join in. SO, it is a great idea to make sure you weren’t removed by mistake!

If you are interested in joining the group I have been co-leading for the past 6-7 months it is a Facebook group under the Specific tab called “Invisible Illness – Perfectly Created for His Glory”.

What is Hello Mornings?

Well, the focus is God, Plan, Move. Starting our day off in the Word of God, planning our day (the best we can) and getting in some loving exercise so that we are best equipped to follow where He leads. The free study also has a spot to check off how much water you have drank each day!!

Doing your own study?

That is OKAY!!! While we do offer a study to do you don’t have to do what we are, the point is to get into the Word each day and then have some community about what we have learned. God is full of grace and so are we!! As leaders, we just want to encourage you in your walk with God, regardless of where you are right now!

 

The 2015 Hello Mornings Session Schedule!!


Apr 162015
 

Tomorrow Tomorrow is Friday, which normally in the life of a mama can be just another day, but tomorrow happens to also be the last official day of this sessions Hello Morning Challenge of the study of Pslams and there are so many left to read, dissect, understand. But then again, maybe I could read every one a thousand times and never fully get them all. The Bible is always so relevant it is almost like it changes with each season I am in, a word or phrase serving a different purpose depending on what’s going on in life.

Sometimes I lay back in wonderment about all those words in that Good Book and I have thought to myself “they must’ve edited it” only to pull up an old copy to find the wording standing just the same. How can it be so accurate? How can I have no clue what tomorrow will truly bring when there is this amazing and loving God who knows everything?

My life has been rock hard but in it all, God has been the rock that cradles me with an eternity of strength and favor, love. As much as I love my own children and I would die for them, I can’t even begin to imagine how much our Creator loves each of us and how that will not change tomorrow or the day after or in 10,000 years from now. His love is infinite, eternal and He has loved us from the moment of creation thousands of years ago.

I definitely don’t have the foggiest idea of what tomorrow will actually bring, but what I do know, is God will be there and He has the day all planned out!

Apr 102015
 

I got my new computer today. I spent more than I had hoped but I *think* I should be good as far as not needing to upgrade for a few years goes. Though, this Windows 8.1 thing is NOT user friendly, or maybe it is too user friendly and I am too techy?! Either way I have been on Google for most of the day trying to figure out major things, like how to open the control panel and where to type in MSCONFIG so I could decide what starts when the computer does. Like I said, all sorts of confused up in here! Then, I am randomly pushing buttons to see what they do and the keyboard lights up light the forth of July, lights so bright a plane may actually mistake this place for a landing strip!! Turned that off, but now that its dark in here I am using it as ambient lighting to type. Sort of odd to use my computer as a lamp but if the shoe fits…

Got my first snail mail ready last night and spent a lot of time praying over it and selecting what I hope to be the perfect card, only to forget it at the door on the way to the post office this morning. Week one and I am already behind. Praise God for grace because right now I am using a whole lot of it up! I think if the good Lord were to fill my cup right now he would just poor in some grace, and some more, until an alphabet soup of grace was pouring over!

I have had a migraine for the last three days. My dad is still working crazy hours and somehow that is affecting my eating and sleep schedule too. I can’t wait for him to get back to normal so that I can. Mostly though I ask God to come down and protect him because if my system is out of whack because of these crazy hours that HE is working then I can’t even imagine how he must be feeling! He is a truck driver so it is beyond important for him to be well rested and feeling great. Perhaps my worry is making my sleep quality stink!?


Speaking of stink, I have no clue what is up with my dogs!! They STINK. Like “sorry you can’t come in my house” stink. I know its spring and they are hotter than they were all winter but its still too old to give them a good bath so that is likely the reason for the stink but wow… that is some body odor right there. I feel like the worst doggie owner ever but you see, I can’t bring them to the groomer. My Charlie who is a black and tan wiener dog has extreme social anxiety and doesn’t accept anyone but me into his bubble of trust and Puppet, my shepherd cross, is scared to go down the stairs to the groomers and my back isn’t in the mood for any lifting, never mind working a door while carrying a 60lb dog. So, bath time will have to wait a little bit longer. On a happy note, my kids don’t stink! Though, that could simply be because Hockey season for my son has ended, but I will pretend it is because he has excellent hygiene and never needs reminded to brush his teeth more than 11 times 3 times a day. Nope, not my kid, hah!

This week for the Hello Mornings Challenge we were mostly in Psalm 119 and it is so rich and so full of hope and I really could have highlighted the entire thing because it is just that good. I have read through the Bible several times in my life but I never really studied the Bible until I had Bible study guides in hand helping me to see the deeper meaning and helping my mind to work harder to dig deeper and of course finding the tools to help me, like BlueLetterBible.com

I have NO clue what the next study is on, I wish I knew and I *secretly* hope it is on Proverbs. I just received a book in the mail from Rabbi Yonason Goldson called Proverbial Beauty and even the intro required sticky notes. I am excited to read and absorb and reflect on that book and then of course do a review of it. It always takes me so long to properly review these types of books because I don’t want to rush through and give it a literary review, I want to learn and learning takes time and mental stamina and a lot of sticky notes!

I also just received an Kindle copy of Praying Upside Down from Tyndale House Publishers. You can click my link at the bottom of the sidebar for more information about being a reviewer for them. This book looks great and sounds awesome. I am fairly new to really praying. I grew up reciting the Hail Mary and the Our Father but only in recent years have I begun to pray in a straight from the gut sort of way and I am always looking for ways to make my prayers better, my time with the Lord QUALITY time.

What’s on your reading list? How do you make your time with God QUALITY time? I would love to hear what you do because it may work for me, or someone else reading this too!! God is amazing like that, giving us exactly what we need and when! Hallelujah!


Mar 122015
 

This week in the Bible I have been hanging out mostly in the Psalms because that’s where we are studying with the Hello Mornings Challenge. During our break I did finally get up the “nerve” to write in one of my Bibles. Taking down a few notes here and there and highlighting things I had in my journal. Then, the last few days I started to DRAW in my Bible. Something I NEVER would have imagined doing. With a Catholic upbringing I was taught that marking your Bible in anyway, even folding a page, was something to repent over.

So giving myself permission to highlight, write and DRAW are huge for me. I am definitely not the bravest Bible artist by any stretch of the imagination, BUT I am enjoying being able to flip through and see little pictures that remind me of the passage.

Psalms 61
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy”

In the side I have written “The Cross IS my strong tower”. What a tower of strength the Cross has been. As we walk through Lent remembering that Jesus suffered through these very days all those years ago, the pillar of strength that the tower represents becomes even more powerful. Jesus didn’t just DIE on that cross, he suffered and he bore that cross, he became one with the cross with nails hammered through flesh and sweat and blood so that I can be saved!

WOW!!

What strength and courage and love God has for us to sustain such torture just so that I “might” be saved! That cross overshadows the pain of the world and as I stand in its shadow I know that it is my tower or strength and that because of it fear has no place. God has already won.

Psalms 143
“My soul thirsteth after thee”

I shall not thirst is written in the margin and I drew a glass over the scripture. I feel like if “my soul thirsts after God” that I should NOT thirst after anything else ever again and that I should be fulfilled and satisfied by Him and Him alone!

Finally, I wrote what I took away from the reading in the bottom “Hear my prayer O Lord! In thy faithfulness answer me!” Yes! A prayer stuck right there within the words of the Word so when I don’t know how to pray or what to say I can simply read and pray and know that He hears my cry’s and He will answer my prayers in His perfect time!

 

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