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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Coming Soon!

Exciting news!

I’m one step closer to having a webpage up and running!

Look for giveaways, a new facebook page, a new look, and did I mention giveaways?

While I’m working to get everything ready, my posts on this page might slow down a bit. But don’t worry, I’m still here. (and here, and here)

So stay tuned!  (and if you have a giveaway for me, let me know!)

A Crown of Beauty

A Crown of Beauty

My daughter needed a crown for a costume. I whipped out my crafting supplies, and viola! A crown. Anyone want a tutorial? Let me know!

When Disappointment Comes

When disappointment settles in your chest like a heavy weight and invades your thoughts with long tentacles, what do you do?

I give into it for awhile, until I’m tired of the fog of unhappiness and start looking for a way out.

Or a way up.

disappoint

Because the only one who doesn’t disappoint is Him.

That sure is a “churchy” statement.

Truth is, sometimes it sure feels like He does.

But look closer.

Our situations may cause disappointment.

Other people may cause disappointment.

But God… He does not disappoint.

We may feel disappointed in God, but the truth is found in His Word. Turning your eyes to an eternal perspective.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5: 1-5

The question now becomes, What will you do when faced with disappointment (even if you feel disappointed in God)?

Read the verses again:

peace – find your peace with God.

glory – in the hope of the glory of God. (note: not our glory, which will disappoint, but HIS glory)

exult – in our tribulations. Our tribulations lead to perseverance, and perseverance to hope.

The eternal perspective – God pours His love into our hearts. We will face tribulations. We will face disappointments. But we will face them WITH God and the Holy Spirit that He give us. Our tribulations are here on this Earth for just a little while.  (For more of an eternal perspective, read ALL of Romans Chapter 5.)

Notice, to answer the disappointment question, it doesn’t say complain, pout, or argue. Ouch. That’s what I tend to do. 

I faced disappointment recently. During the midst of my frustration, I held the hand of someone facing disappointment through death. While my disappointment doesn’t touch that level of disappointment, God is still God in the little and the big. Often, how we handle the little gives glimpses of how we handle the not-so-little.

My disappointment was in a date gone wrong. This weekend my husband and I planned a rare weekend without any kids. Friday night’s plans changed, but we made the most of it, looking forward to Saturday. Saturday we both woke up sick. Pretty disappointing. I wanted to complain, pout, and argue. I also found myself seeking to place blame. The tentacles of disappointment invaded my memories bringing to mind every time headaches or sickness interrupted our plans. Disappointment lead to misery. I could’ve stayed there.  Instead, I sought God for His peace. When I looked to myself or my husband for glory, my attitude slipped until I made great effort to hope in the glory of God (through prayer and bringing scripture to mind). I even found blessings in the midst of our little tribulation. It’s a good thing my hope is not in myself, or my husband, but in HIM.

He loves you.

He gives you hope.

That hope dispels the disappointment.

The Challenge of 2014

“I challenge your family to read through the New Testament this year.”

Bible

The last time we attempted to read through something, we failed. It was a book for advent Christmas before last. Advent = one month. And then there was the last try of family devotionals. That happened sporadically over maybe two months. Then it fizzled. I admit – I started thinking,

“Why start something, just to fail?”

Then I snapped myself back into reality. Well, we know where that thought came from.

That thought was not from me and not from God.

Well, we started. January first = Matthew 1.

And so far we’ve only been off two readings. Which we’ll make up this week.

What I realized is that even if we don’t get out of the book of Matthew, or make it past January, the time I’m spending NOW reading the Bible with my kids is making a difference. The time of discussion and prayer is priceless. There’s no curriculum, no set questions, no activities – Just the WORD. And it is GOOD.

I also started thinking about my hesitation to post this on my blog. Well, the simple reason is that I didn’t want to have to confess to quitting something – again. Oh and the uncomfortableness of someone asking me in a few months and having to come up with an excuse. Bottom line: I didn’t want that kind of accountability.

That’s when I realized sharing this – is community. So welcome to my community. While you’re here, let me challenge you:

Read through the New Testament with me this year!

I’m really excited about this challenge. Even more, I’m excited about the changes I will see in our family.

Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live… Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (verses from Isaiah 55)

So what’s going to make this different? I really do not think it’s going to fizzle out. There is a big difference – we are doing this as a family, yet part of a larger community. We have surrounded ourselves with other families who are reading the same verses at the same time. Community and Accountability. And now I’m offering that to you.

Who’s willing to take the challenge?

Non-Resolution New Year.

I don’t have a word for the year.

I didn’t make any resolutions.

I just want to do better.

Be better. Love better.

I want to do things I’ve put off.

So far, so good. Kinda. I still haven’t graded any papers. Or written that thing my editor asked me to write. BUT I did learn a new craft. Quite successfully.

I love words. I write words. I teach people to write words. Now I write words in wire. (that’s my new craft!)

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Here’s an example of my wire jewelry. It’s the first ring I made. I’ll be showing you guys more of it soon!

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If you have a word for the year, I can write it for you. In wire. Just ask! (shameless plug! Also – follow me on instagram to see more of my work!)

Now for just a bit of openness… I left 2013 pretty defeated. Things I just knew would happen in 2013 – didn’t. Home schooling did not progress along my guidelines. I knew things weren’t going well, but decided to look the other way. That did no one any favors. I already told you guys about the dating dilemma and the small group we quit. Then add some personal frustrations… and I was ready to wave good-bye to 2013. With no desire to reflect on the past year or set goals for the new year.

But I have a feeling.

A feeling that big things are in store this year.

Yes, I know I’m launching a new blog (just moving this one – same content, just better!) and publishing a book. But that’s not what I’m feeling. I feel like this year is going to be incredible on a personal level. Relationships. Spiritually. Family.

because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my eyes. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. Isaiah 65: 16-18

Later this week I’ll share with you something new our family is doing. At first, I didn’t want to “put it out there” and tell you guys… but my fear of failure kept me from it. NOW I’m seeing things differently and will share this week. Stay tuned!

And I want to know –

Did you claim a word for the year? What is it?
Did you make a resolution? What is it? Have you found success?

Confession of a church small group leader

Those of you who’ve been around this blog for awhile might remember when we started leading a small group at church.

confession small group1

We quit.

Our small group lost its fizz. Actually, it lost the members. Most people on the “roll” (I guess now it’s an email loop) didn’t attend meetings. We had two committed couples and one family moved to a different church. The whole time we met they told us they were not members and were still trying to find a regular church home. The other couple that invested time with our group came when they could.

When we contacted the church about a lack of involvement, they advised us to ask friends to join our group. Funny, but that’s the same response we had for four years of our small group trials. For some reason, it made me feel like being thrown into the other side of the dating pool. (Not that I’d experienced the other side of that – the asking side.) Who do I ask? Will they like me?  Will they say yes? Is there anyone even left to ask???

So we quit. Not in defeat, just realizing God closed that door.

We are not doing the small group leader thing anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not still looking. I am. I want to connect. I want to do life with people.

Confession: Some days I think about our group and see all of the mistakes I made. The phone calls I didn’t make. OK – the fact that I didn’t even have the phone numbers of most small group members. That line of thinking drag my thoughts to the cusp of pure defeat. Probably even worse than that is when I see successful small groups and wonder why mine wasn’t. The twinge of jealousy reveals that deep longing to connect. I have to remind myself it was a journey for all of us. We felt the call and we obeyed. Time to move forward.

And God is opening doors I didn’t expect.

Uncomfortable doors –  leading us out of our comfort zone.

I know I’m not the only one who tried the whole small group thing and quit. BUT I WON’T GIVE UP. I value the people I met in small groups. I value the lesson’s learned. I’m excited for the days ahead.

Are you in a small group? What works for your group? What just isn’t working?

My Regret of 2013

Looking back over the past year there are a few things I wish I did differently. Quite a few. But I also realize that this is my journey and “the way things were” are the way things were. But I do have one thing that stands out above the rest.

My regret of 2013

regret 2013

We forgot to date.

Oh, there are plenty of reasons:

  • The busyness of life
  • Finances
  • Too tired
  • No idea of where to go or what to do
  • Lack of motivation
  • Did I mention finances?

Call them what they are – excuses. Lame ones too. Really, time just slipped away. We didn’t make it a priority. Notice, babysitter isn’t on the list. Our kids are past the age of needing a sitter. We know we have the freedom to go out at any time, so no planning is needed. And none was taken.

Not this year. 2014 is the year of dates!  This problem has a really simple fix. Just Date! 

Suggestions for dates are being accepted in the comment section.

What is your regret of 2013? How can you change that for 2014?

There’s one factor I left off the list. It gets it’s own blog post. Any guesses?

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