Archive | February 2012

Check up

Day 60 Project 365

Time for a check up.

Today is the bonus day for the year.  It is leap year.  SO my project really is a 366 day project. Time is flying by at lightening speed.  Hard to believe we are ready to start the third month of this year.  I did some reflecting last night to see where I am with my goals and projects and where I need to step it up some.  I have lots of things to accomplish this year.  The boys and I started meal plans and activity tracking yesterday.  We spent some time talking about healthy choices for food intake and exercising habits.  I found a great website at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.  We input our goals into the tracker and were given some meal plans and calorie intake guides to get us where we want to be.  It was nice to see how things should break down.  We got to see what we were eating compared to what is recommended.  For the kids that is nice because they can see the healthy choices compared with the not so healthy and someone other than mom was saying it.  My 17-year-old has started P90x and is gingerly walking around our house but he is doing it and I am proud of him.  GO HIM!  The rest of us desperately need to get back to our walking.  We were doing great then sidelined with sickness for about 3 weeks now!  Baseball season is gearing up.  Already my youngest has 4 practices/scrimmage games this week alone.  He will get his exercise in that is for sure.  Getting fit and staying that way is a big part of my goals this year.  Doing it as a family makes life so much easier.  As I use today to reflect I have decided to create some goals for myself for month 3 of my project.  I am finding that I need to get busy in some areas more than I have been if I hope to accomplish all that I set out to.  Again, this isn’t about new years resolutions, it is for me about making a series of “the next right choices” and moving towards living my purpose to the best of my ability.

Off to the doctor this morning for a check up after a few weeks of sickness to make sure the pneumonia is clear and to have my little guy checked since he has been sick since Sunday.
Focused today on making right choices for me and my family.  Time to continue cleaning out and making ready for spring, for a new life.  Meditating in my quiet time on the things God has for me today!  Healthy in mind, body and spirit.  Making another right choice, one at a time.

Time for a check up!  Where am I really?  Am I doing the things I was called to do?  Am I eating right? Exercising?  Making amends?  Am I putting things off because I just can’t deal? Am I ignoring things as if that will make them go away?  Am I setting my priorities straight?  Am I making time for relationships? Where am I today really?  Have I taken the steps to make change?  Am I moving forward or stuck in the past?  What do I need to do different today to break the pattern of insanity?  What have I put off for tomorrow when tomorrow might never come?

Time for a check up!  Mind, body and soul!

It is truly about doing the next right thing!

Some great scriptures on Healthy Living-  http://www.openbible.info/topics/healthy_eating

Devotion on spiritual checkup-  http://odb.org/2006/07/11/spiritual-checkup/

Advertisements

Recipe of life

Day 59 Project 365

I love cooking and have quite the collection of cookbooks along with folders and boxes of hand written recipes and cards clipped from cooking magazines.   Part of my project 365 list is to work through the collection and reorganize.  Of all my collection I have many recipes that are hand written and have been passed down.  I want to organize them into a cookbook with pictures and memories of the special people who have given them to me.  Of those recipes many were given to me by my grandmother.  As I was looking through the box today to find a recipe for blueberry muffins I came across a stack of handwritten cards from her.  Lovingly tucked in were scriptures and notes to remind me of who GOD is and how much He loves me.  I cherish these.  I have many wonderful memories of cooking with her and my children when they were little when she would come to visit or we would go to see her.  I loved those times with her as  I love the time with my kids in the kitchen creating new dishes or making their favorites now.  I love the time to talk and laugh and be with them.  They love it too!

I finally found my muffin recipe this early morning.  The sun isn’t even up yet.  The coffee is ready and the blueberry batter is finished.  Soon the house will smell of fresh muffins. The recipes cards are neatly back in their box except for the scripture cards. For now I am sipping my second cup of coffee and enjoying some time in the word.  There is a recipe for us in this book.  A recipe for happiness and prosperity, joy and gladness.  There is a recipe for making it through when things fall apart.  A recipe too for handling grief and sorrow and how to weather the storm.  A recipe for right living and good character filled with the fruits of the spirit.

  Psalms 34:8 says “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see- how good God is.  Blessed are you who run to him!” (The Message)

Let me share with you a fellow bloggers thoughts on the recipe for a new life:

“with a triumphant smile, I embraced a new recipe for life.

Directions: Take a large bowl of willingness. Pour generous cups of determination. Add splashes of passion. And layer these insights in the pan of your heart:

  • More effective than sleeping pills…is slipping gratitude into our thoughts.
  • We only know defeat when our feet refuse to step out of      the puddle of discouragement.
  • Pain is like a bucket of water — the      longer we hold onto it, the heavier it gets.
  • Forgiveness sparks the freshness of freedom.
  • Turmoil can only boil when fueled by worry.
  • Focus not on the real estate you hold…but on the One who holds the real state of your      destiny.
  • Diligent      correction dissolves the cycle of      guilt.
  • The green of envy highlights our worst features.
  • Life tastes better when seasoned with kind      words.
  • Drive starts a project; endurance leads to results.
  • Patience is the muscle that strengthens the soul.
  • We know compassion only when love becomes our passion.
  • Anger visits places where fear dwells.
  • We miss the beauty ahead when gazing into the rearview      mirror of life.
  • Broken      plans are often the detour that      takes us through better scenery.
  • Resentment clogs the pipe of peace.
  • A Positive Attitude is the passport to places others fear.

Every morning prepare a generous helping—guaranteed to give a fresh start!  The dish has zero calories, no fat to clog your thinking, and no additives to contaminate your attitude.” (http://hopeforwomenmag.com/guest-blog/a-new-recipe-for-life)

Philippians 4:9-11

The Message (MSG)

“8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Content Whatever the Circumstances

10-14I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”

As I finish my coffee and pop these muffins in the oven I have placed aside these scripture cards from my grandmother.  I will serve them up with my muffins today to my family as a loving reminder of God and His faithfulness and love.  Recipes in and of themselves for a wonderful new life.
(P.S. The recipe for the muffins is on the A Few of My Favorite Things page.  Enjoy!)

Spring Cleaning Inside and Out

Day 58 Project 365

I have cabin fever.  After two weeks of being down for the count I am thankful to be on the mend.  I slept the entire night last night for the first time in weeks. Now today I am trying to get back in the swing of things.  My youngest is home with the start of something so I have taken to the Lysol and I am trying to wash away the germs.  Seems like a never-ending job.  Winter just has not been cold enough to kill anything this year.  Today even they say it will be in the 70’s.  Not sure we will reach that.  The clouds have moved in and thankfully I have aired the house out in time for what looks like rain.

Maybe it’s not cabin fever I am experiencing.  Might be spring cleaning fever.  I have a deep desire to re arrange, clean, dust, throw away. If I had paint I think a room or two would have a new coat today.  I want to clean out the fridge.  I even re folded towels.   I have managed to get more done today on my mini projects than I have since they started in January.  Boxes have been sorted and removed, some labeled and stored away.  I have donations for Union Mission and several bags of trash.   I even pulled out craft supplies and began to a new spring wreath for our front door.

Whatever it is I have I am feeling great.  I will take this kind of fever any day.  I have dinner started already and even a treat in the oven for tomorrow.  I love de-cluttering and cleaning and making things new.  I also love the quiet moments in where the Lord is making me new on the inside too!  As I am renewing my walk with the Lord  I am also de-cluttering my heart.  Un-forgiveness, anger, bitterness will only bog me down and keep me from the new life He has for me. It is the time to get rid of this old baggage.  If I don’t I will just keep pulling it into my present and my future.  It clogs up relationships.  I have had to repent and make amends.  I have had to also clean out the things I think about and speak.  I need to be sure that the things I am saying and thinking and dwelling on are pleasing to the Lord and for me that comes by taking every thought captive and applying truth.  Then there is my spiritual closets.  They need cleaning too!  It is where identifying those elephants and skeletons is needed. Hidden sin can keep me sick, trapped, and bound.  Confessing and cleaning it out allows for healing.  I also have to work on my walk and relationship with the Lord.  I am challenged today to find a new church where we can fit in and grow.  He longs for a relationship with me and I with Him.  It is just as important for me to be in fellowship with other believers.  I miss it.

Gearing up for spring inside and out.

Psalm 32:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess  my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave  the guilt of my sin.

Psalm 51:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,  and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Luke 6:45

New International Version (NIV)

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

All Things New

Day 57 Project 365

Time alone today in the word, in worship and I am so thankful that He makes all things new.  I cut some flowers today from my yard and as I arranged them in the vase for my table I was in awe at the beauty of creation.  It never ceases to amaze me the time and detail that my Father put in to painting our world with love and with color.  A constant reminder, HE makes all things new.  He paints the sky each morning and hangs the stars each night.  Every color of the rainbow a reminder of His promises and His unfailing love.

My post today is simple.  I am sharing with you the lyrics to the song All Things New by Steven Curtis Chapman.  At the end is a link to the video.

You spoke and made the sunrise, to light up the very first day
You breathed across the water, and started the very first wave
It was You
You introduced Your glory, to every living creature on earth
And they started singing, the first song to ever be heard
They sang for You

You make all things new
You make all things new

Then the world was broken, fallen and battered and scarred
You took the hopeless, the life, wasted, ruined and marred
And made it new

You make all things new
You make all things new
You redeem and You transform
You renew and You restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

You turn winter into spring
You take every living thing
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again

You made the sunrise, day after day after day
But there’s a morning coming, when old things will all pass away
And everyone will see

You make all things new
You make all things new
Come redeem and come transform
Come renew and come restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

Now and forever You are making all things new
You’re making all things new

Hallelujah…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Q3NrB_eHM

Recognizing the Elephant

Day 56 Project 365

Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away.  Pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it better.  Placing blame to avoid ownership only prolongs.  I know sometimes it has felt like just keeping everything to myself would help, I walked on egg shells, tried to fix and smooth over and do everything I could humanly do to avoid conflict.  It just doesn’t work that way.  More times than not resentments would grow from the spark of hurt, frustrations would fester into heated tempers and angry words.  Nothing good comes from ignoring the things that need to be dealt with.  Nothing good comes from pretending the elephant is not in the room.

I am learning to look at my part.  To change, surrender where I need to and speak up where I should.  I might not get the results I am hoping for.  I might not get a response at all.  I might be ready to deal with something that the other person is not.  I try so hard to understand sometimes.  Understand the whys and the how comes.  I have to continue to release that stuff though because it has the potential to drag me down and ruin the hard work and progress that I have made.  This is where recognizing what I can and cannot change comes in.

I might not always get why people do the things they do.  I do however understand that hurting people hurt people.  That doesn’t excuse it or make it right but it is what it is and I can’t change it.  I have been reading a lot over the past month about the love of God.  I want a heart like His.  I want to be able to see past what is happening to the heart of the situation.  I look at the times Jesus would have had every right to say forget this yet He never did.  He understood His purpose.  He knew what it meant to love others as God does.  He got it and He obeyed.  Part of my project 365 this year is about facing and dealing with things that have hurt me.  It has not been easy but I have learned that ignoring things that happen only makes them worse.  So as I am reading and studying I am asking God to reveal my elephants.  Reveal to me the things that I have grown used to, overlooked and pretended weren’t happening.  I have asked Him to examine my heart and remove the stuff that is binding and bogging me down.  It has meant making some amends and learning some new behaviors.  It has also meant speaking up for myself and no longer settling.

This is where I am right now.  I am deep in prayer and asking God to clean up my heart, renew my mind, restore and release.  No matter what it looks like it is and will continue to be a time to de-clutter my life.  To heal and to live my purpose.  I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, body and spirit and I want to love others as He does, not just if they “deserve it”, regardless of how they treat me, no matter if they can repay it or return the favor.  I want to love because I am called to it.

1 John 4:7-12

New International Version (NIV)

God’s Love and Ours

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

“I GOT THIS!”

Day 55 Project 365

What a lovely day today.  82 degrees in February!  I could learn to like this yet alas colder temps are moving in and tomorrow will be in the mid 40’s!  That is okay.   It was another sunny and beautiful day with some an awesome breeze.  Sitting here now the breeze blowing through my home it smells like rain.  Storms are in the forecast.  As I finished my errands today and came home my thoughts were on the approaching storm.  We secured the yard and are praying over the swaying pine trees that border our yard. Sometimes we know storms are approaching and other times they pop up literally out of nowhere.

As I sit watching the sky darken and the clouds move in and the winds pickup, as the tornado watch scrolls across my television, I am reminded of how BIG my GOD really is.  We have been facing some storms in our lives.  It seems that everyone we know and love has been too.  Yet as the sky grows darker I keep hearing the same thing, “I GOT THIS!”

I love what God says to Job in Job 38- 39.  This is The NIV version.  Although I just share 38 and 39 with you here it goes on.  When I read this I can hear God saying, “I GOT THIS!”

1Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:  2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3Brace yourself like a man; I will question you,  and you shall answer me.  4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!    Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together  and all the angels[a]shouted for joy?  8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?  12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,  or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. 15The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.  16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?  Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? 18Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?    Tell me, if you know all this.  19 “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 20 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 21Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!  22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I reserve for times of trouble,    for days of war and battle? 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no one lives,    an uninhabited desert, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father?  Who fathers the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb comes the ice?  Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?  31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c] or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs? 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s[e]dominion over the earth?  34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds  and cover yourself with a flood of water? 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?  Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]  or gives the rooster understanding?[g] 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?   Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens 38when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?  39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions 40 when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? 41 Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God    and wander about for lack of food?

Job 39

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? 2 Do you count the months till they bear?  Do you know the time they give birth? 3 They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. 4Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.  5 “Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied its ropes? 6 I gave it the wasteland as its home, the salt flats as its habitat. 7 It laughs at the commotion in the town; it does not hear a driver’s shout. 8It ranges the hills for its pasture and searches for any green thing.  9 “Will the wild ox consent to serve you? Will it stay by your manger at night? 10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?  Will it till the valleys behind you? 11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?    Will you leave your heavy work to it? 12Can you trust it to haul in your grain and bring it to your threshing floor?  13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork. 14 She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, 15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,    that some wild animal may trample them. 16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;    she cares not that her labor was in vain, 17 for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense. 18Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider.  19 “Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? 20 Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? 21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray. 22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;  it does not shy away from the sword. 23 The quiver rattles against its side, along with the flashing spear and lance. 24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground; it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. 25At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’ It catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.  26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom  and spread its wings toward the south? 27 Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high? 28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is its stronghold. 29 From there it looks for food; its eyes detect it from afar. 30 Its young ones feast on blood, and where the slain are, there it is.”

WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE FACING – HES GOT THIS!

Transformation- ALL THINGS NEW

Day 54 Project 365

Today is a bright sunny day and the temperature is going to climb into the mid 70’s.  Windows open airing out the house and washing all the linens.  The trees are budding and I have flowers popping up in the flower beds.  I am ready for spring. A few more weeks away but what a wonderful glimpse into what it will hold.  Especially after  a week of struggling with pneumonia.  Still having a hard time but looking at the sunny side of things.  I have been able to sit in bed and get a lot of work done on the computer this week between coughing fits and cat naps. I have regained my voice which is good for me but I think the kids secretly liked mom with no voice.

We have seasons in our lives too.  Winter can be a depressing time of isolation and cold where we retreat into ourselves, our homes.  Winter can remind us of heartache, suffering and grief.  It is in the winter months following the new year that depression grips so many.  It is in this season sometimes we feel we will never emerge.  Yet even in winter there is beauty.  And if there was no winter there could never be a spring.  A time for new birth, for all things that were dead to be made new.  A time of rebirth, new life.  A time for  beauty, redemption, renewal, revelation.  A time for transformation!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”~Isaiah 43: 19

Jeremiah 31:21

The Message (MSG) 21-22“Set up signposts to mark your trip home.   

 Get a good map. Study the road conditions.    The road out is the road back. Come back, dear virgin Israel, 

   come back to your hometowns. How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?   

 How long before you make up your fickle mind? God will create a new thing in this land:  

  A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”

My devotions this morning are on the overstuffed chair by the picture window in my living room where the sun pours through.  I am excited to see what is next.  What God has planned.  I am ready to soak up the transforming power of my God.  To continue to blossom into the woman, the daughter, the wife, the mother, the friend that He has created me to be!

Psalm 104

   O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are!     

  Beautifully, gloriously robed, Dressed up in sunshine,      

 and all heaven stretched out for your tent.    You built your palace on the ocean deeps,      

 made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.  You commandeered winds as messengers,     

  appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.  You set earth on a firm foundation     

  so that nothing can shake it, ever.  You blanketed earth with ocean,     

  covered the mountains with deep waters; Then you roared and the water ran away—

       your thunder crash put it to flight.  Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out

       in the places you assigned them.  You set boundaries between earth and sea;

       never again will earth be flooded.  You started the springs and rivers,

       sent them flowing among the hills.  All the wild animals now drink their fill,

wild donkeys quench their thirst.  Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,

       ravens make their voices heard.  You water the mountains from your heavenly cisterns;

       earth is supplied with plenty of water.  You make grass grow for the livestock,

       hay for the animals that plow the ground. 

14-23 Oh yes, God brings grain from the land,   

    wine to make people happy,  Their faces glowing with health,

 a people well-fed and hearty.  God’s trees are well-watered—  the Lebanon cedars he planted.

    Birds build their nests in those trees; look—the stork at home in the treetop.

    Mountain goats climb about the cliffs;  badgers burrow among the rocks.

   The moon keeps track of the seasons, the sun is in charge of each day.

    When it’s dark and night takes over, all the forest creatures come out.

   The young lions roar for their prey, clamoring to God for their supper. 

  When the sun comes up, they vanish, lazily stretched out in their dens.

  Meanwhile, men and women go out to work, busy at their jobs until evening.

 24-30 What a wildly wonderful world, God!  You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,  

     made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.  

Oh, look—the deep, wide sea, brimming with fish past counting,

       sardines and sharks and salmon.  Ships plow those waters, 

 and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.  All the creatures look expectantly to you

 to give them their meals on time.  You come, and they gather around;

       you open your hand and they eat from it.  If you turned your back,  they’d die in a minute—   

 Take back your Spirit and they die, revert to original mud;

   Send out your Spirit and they spring to life- the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

 31-32 The glory of God—let it last forever!  Let God enjoy his creation!  

  He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake,      

points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.

 33-35Oh, let me sing to God all my life long,  sing hymns to my God as long as I live!   

Oh, let my song please him; I’m so pleased to be singing to God.   

But clear the ground of sinners— no more godless men and women!   O my soul, bless God!