December 31, 2012

Intentional

That's my word for 2013: INTENTIONAL.  I want to be intentional about all areas of life, hoping to use that to bring glory to God and a change in my heart, my lifestyle, my family, my church, and my community.  This is a huge task and I know it will only be possible with God's strength and guidance. 

I want to be more intentional with a consistent time of prayer and study in the Word.  Up to this point it just happens when it happens.  I don't want that to be the case anymore.  This year I will be studying the book of James as I write the devotions that go with our scripture memory starting in the fall.  Lord, help me to be intentional as I seek You in Your Word and in prayer each day!

I also want to be more intentional as a family as we seek where and who God would have us serve.  Lord, show us those around us who need Your touch and show us how we can be salt and light to our community. 

Also, I want to be more intentional with our finances, to be a good steward with our resources so we can use as much as possible to help others, to love on them and help them see God's truth.  Lord, show us things we can live without so that others can simply live.  Show us people and places that need what we have in excess so we can give them what they need.  Show us places we can go, as individuals and as a family, to share Your truth.

Lord, help us to be intentional with our family.  Help Kevin and I to be always making the most of the teachable moments You give us.  Help us to always be pointing these precious children to You and Your truth! 

Lord, help me to be more intentional with our schooling.  Help me to find ways to declare Your truth and to show them You in everything we study.  Help me to be consistent with our learning and provide fun ways for them to discover this amazing world You created.  Help me to teach them so they can in turn go out and teach others about You and all that You created and have done for Your creation.

Lord, change my heart!  Change me into someone who hungers and thirsts after You!  Change me into someone who desires to be less me and more You!  Help these changes to change my family and all those around me!

December 26, 2012

Completely Incomplete

At the first Christmas Eve service we went to this past Monday I was reminded of one of the greatest promises Christ gives us.

Sitting behind me at the service was a young boy who found his mother dead just a week before.  He was a very handsome and sweet looking young man, yet you could see the sadness in his eyes.  He was very polite, speaking to anyone who spoke to him, but you still could not escape the sadness in his eyes.  Sitting two people away from him was another young man, perhaps about the same age, who has autism.  What a contrast between those two boys.  The second boy was exuding joy and excitement over everyone and everything he saw or had seen in the last few days.  And I couldn't help but think how completely incomplete both were, here on this earth.  And I am no different.  And you are no different. But one day, if these men choose to make Christ their Lord and Master, they will be in Heaven with Him and be completely complete.  And so will I.  And so will all believers!  What a promise!  Thank You, Lord, that no matter the source of our incompleteness, no matter what disability or struggle here on earth, it will one day vanish as we worship at the feet of our Savior in Heaven!  Lord, help me to never lose sight of eternity while living here in the temporal!

(Two great songs from that service that really struck me with those two boys who were sitting behind me!)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Joy to the World

December 17, 2012

Light 'Em Up-Week 4

Well, I couldn't wait until Friday again this week!  When we delivered our cookies and M&M's in the second week, we met Bonnie.  She is a widow who has MS and lives just 4 or 5 houses down from us.  I wanted bread for dinner, needed an activity for this week, and the recipe made more bread than we could eat in one meal.  So, I decided, without consulting anyone else (yeah, that's how I roll...I am a control freak, after all) we would take Miss Bonnie some bread.  Sophie helped some with the kneading (Ethan wasn't interested!), so it was fun to see how proud she was that she was helping to give something to Miss Bonnie.  It crossed my mind, "You know, I should do a loaf or two of bread each day today this week to give away."  Of course, I knew that this was an unrealistic goal for me (as I am trying to cram 5 days of school into 2 this week--which includes building a volcano to destroy the Ancient Minoan people!!), so if I have time to make more, we'll make more deliveries.  I had intended to put some scripture verses with the bread, but that just didn't happen.  But, clearly, just the fact that we made something for her meant more than I had imagined.

 Lord, continue to keep Bonnie on our heart.  Help us to genuinely care about and love her as though she was part of our family.  Show us how to meet her physical needs so we can show her that You are the only One who can meet hear greatest need-that of a Saviour.  Use this to teach our children the importance of truly and genuinely loving others and putting others first!




December 13, 2012

Yep, That's Right, More Randomness!

Just gonna ramble:
-Believe it or not, I have really enjoyed our Light 'Em Up activities this month!  I don't really think that I could do more than one a week, but what we've done has gone well, and even gotten me out of my comfort zone some!  We still have a long way to go, as individuals and as a family, but God is moving and changing our hearts.  In fact, the other day when I was making the icing for the cookies, as Ethan was licking the beater (don't worry, we were done with it), he looked at me and said, "Mommy, we can use this icing to tell people about Jesus!"  Lord, keep moving!

-I have also really enjoyed the way we are doing Christmas this year.  We cut out most of the gifts for our own family this year.  We wanted to focus on Christ and others, so we did our best to stick to gifts that were needed/or useful, yet still will be enjoyed by the receiver.  Though we didn't make the gifts for our kids, we did make many of the gifts we are giving to the rest of our family.  Man, I have enjoyed that so much!  I have also gotten some help from some amazing ladies.  Again, God is so good to me and I so don't deserve it!

-Finally started reading 7 tonight.  I know God is going to do amazing, crazy, awesome things in me, and hopefully my family, as I read this book and share it with my family.  I don't want to go overboard, but I do want to look at areas where we can get rid of excess in order to give to those truly in need (because, though many times we would like to think of ourselves as in need, we aren't!)  I don't want to "downsize" and "declutter" just for the sake of doing it, I want to replace those things with the habit of thinking of and giving to others.  I truly want the "lack of things" to be a blessing to our family and those we will now be able to love on because of it.  Lord, move in a mighty way.  Let this bring unity and love to each heart in this house!

-I was again reminded this week how hard it is to be obedient when the world and church members around us just don't "get it."  I mean, so often I am so much more concerned with what people will think of me for the decisions I make than I am about being obedient and doing the will of my Father.  It's just so silly, yet so hard to break out of that "people pleaser" mentality.  Lord, help me to hear Your call, and obey immediately and whole-heartedly, even if no one else goes with me or understands or even if the whole world thinks I am crazy.  Help me to choose to see your example versus the blank stares or accusing glances.  Help me to encourage others who choose to obey Your voice, when everyone else around them is criticizing. 

Lord, do amazing things.  Remind me that You alone want us to have life more abundantly, and that kind of life can only be found in You!

December 11, 2012

Light 'Em Up-Week 3

We did our project a little early this week and had the opportunity to do some of it with some friends!  This week we made and decorated cookies for our mailman.  We got to decorate the cookies with some very sweet friends.  It was really a great time!  We also attached a note with the cookies that shared some of the prophecy about Christ from the book of Isaiah.  The kids were so anxious to get the cookies to the mailman they couldn't focus on anything else.  And the mailman was very surprised to get that little treat!  Lord, thank You for allowing us to live in a country where we can openly do things like this!

Here are some pics of what we did!




December 08, 2012

Light 'Em Up--Week 2

This week we delivered M&M goody bags and cookies to our neighbors.  The M&M bags had a little poem with pieces of the Christmas story in it.  We also made chocolate chip cokies to deliver.  The deliveries were cold, but went well.  We gave out 9 bags of cookies and 11 bags of M&M's.  There were only a few neighbors that weren't home.  Everyone seemed really surprised someone was handing out goodies for free and couldn't help but smile as Ethan felt them need to describe to them exactly what was in the bag (as if they couldn't tell just by looking at it!)  We got to have a really good conversation with a woman just a few houses down.  Pray for Bonnie, she is a widow and has MS, so she doesn't get around well.  Hoping we can perhaps develop a relationship with her and be able to help her some. 


 Here is the M&M portion of the treats...step by step.

 
We also gave some cookies!
 
Getting ready to head out to give the neighbors their cookies!


December 01, 2012

Light 'Em Up-Week 1

Well, we survived our first Light 'Em up activity!  Yesterday we went through our closets and toy bins to give away things that we didn't need or that no longer fit.  It went pretty well.  The kids were reluctant at first, but we were able to have a really good talk about how everything we have comes from God and that He wants us to be good stewards of what He gives us.  If we don't use something or can't wear something, but someone else could, then being a good steward, we should pass that along so others can be blessed.  Ethan never really got fully into the spirit, mainly because he got distracted by every toy we pulled out and started playing with it, but Sophie really did.  It warmed my heart! 


Here are the bags of stuff that we took to Douglass Community Center.  They help people in Hannibal and they are just down the street from us.  The kids helped carry the bags in and everything!



The kids with the bags of stuff.  I guess it helped them sort better being in costume?!?!?

Hopefully next week's project will go just as well!