Monday, September 27, 2010
I thought I would re-visit my "Fab Forty" list. My 40th birthday has come and gone this past month. I dreaded looking at the list because I really have put very little effort into this. But after looking through my items I have accomplished to do some. Check out my updates in red.
1. Take 1 picture everyday for one month – can’t do 365 but 30 seems do-able. Not even one picture
2. Learn how to take a GOOD picture/be in the pictures. I always shy away from the camera, not wanting to be photographed. I want it documented that I was here! I would have to take some pictures for this to be accomplished :)
3. Print and complete photo collage for my living room. Bought the frame, does that count?
4. Go on a Girls' Weekend Get-Away Probably not going to happen
5. Have a new friend over for lunch Nope, not done it
6. Go with friends out for lunch/dinner. I foresee this in the near future…This I am proud of. I have gone to dinner once a month with my 4 closest friends every month. This is something I truly look forward to each month.
7. Make friendships a priority by giving them time to cultivate. See above
8. Read through the New Testament in a new-for-me-version, I am going to use The Message. I have kept up on this and am proud of the fact I did not give up in March.
9. Try a new vegetable in the garden. Kohlrabi? Cabbage? And then keep up on the garden. Nope, didn't try anything new, but my husband did build a trellis for the peas, does that count?
10. Plant an herb garden and actually use the herbs. Planted one planter of basil that didn't do so well. Doesn't really count as an 'herb garden', more like a pot o'basil.
11. Plant a tree (or two) in my front yard. Yes, planted two flowering pear trees!
12. Make raspberry jam from my own raspberries. I am planning for a bounty of raspberries! Only got about a cup of raspberries from my bushes, better luck next year?
13. Can something: maybe tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, or peaches. Nope
14. Learn how to make a piece of jewelry I would be proud to wear, I have an idea and it involves resin. Still just in the thinking stage.
15. Take a friend a meal for no reason. Nope
16. Have a family over for dinner. We have done this several times
17. Send a cards when I see someone needs encouragement. Note to self: have cards on hand. Nope, I don't know if I have even sent one.
18. Go on an overnight trip with Ron. Nope, and probably not going to happen this year.
19. Make Ron’s birthday special (40) May, eh...not so special
20. Make Emma’s birthday special (17) December, yep
21. Make Eli’s birthday special (14) September, semi special
22. Make Eden’s birthday special (13) February, yep
23. Make Eva’s birthday special (9) May yep
24. Make Ella’s birthday special (4) February yep
25. Remember my friends birthdays with a little token, already working on this one. Failed.
26. Take a Community Ed. Class. Maybe cooking, self defense, or couponing ? Maybe next month I hope.
27. Exercise for 30 minutes a day/5 days a week for one month. Just got a stationary bike so excuses about the weather are no more. Ha! LOL!
28. Hike Badger Mt. Again, Ha!
29. Take a picture of the same thing in each of the 4 seasons, again with the camera.
30. Laugh out loud with some good friends. I think this one needs to be done more than once. Thanks to our once a month dinner group this happens often :) As well as my sweet friend Coral :)
31. Read a good fiction book (I never read fiction) Ron bought me Scared for Christmas. Read Scared...great book!
32. Throw a themed dinner party. Not too fancy or involved but lots of fun! Still sounds like it would be fun.
33. Treat myself to a pedicure…hopefully with friends. Didn't happen and now it is time for shoes again. :(
34. Paint a piece of furniture with Jamie. Didn't happen :(
35. Paint Eva and Ella’s bedroom. Yes! Turquoise and Yellow!
36. Paint the girls bathroom a fun color. Hasn't happened.
37. Learn to sew something, maybe a pillow or apron. Nope.
38. Make the flower arrangement that I have been thinking about for 3 YEARS...Not yet...
39. Put a little more effort into my appearance…maybe highlights? Definitely work on keeping my nails manicured. Did get the high lights...nails...not so much
40. Only buy flattering clothes I love to wear. For the most part yes, but I have bought a couple things just because I needed them.
So that makes about 16 of 40 things I have accomplished that I set out to do this year. With just three months left I probably will not accomplish all 40. But hopefully I will accomplish a few more. Who I am is constantly evolving. I am not who I was a year ago and hopefully not who I will be next year when I turn 41. There are things I would like to change, things I would like to do over, and things I would rather not have had to experience at all. But I think that is what makes us who we are...who we are becoming. I am trying to give God all the control of writing the pages of my life and not trying to take the pen from His hand. Easier said than done. I hope to blog more. I miss it and the people I once connected with through it.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I have also been following the blog Cale's Recovery. This is a sweet couple, husband about to be discharged from the Army, taking a cross-country trip to see family, end up in a car crash and now the husband is in a coma. They had their whole lives before them, still do. They were talking about starting their family. Now everything has changed.
I was thinking about how long until she has to go back to life? Before she starts working again? How long does she wait for him to wake up? But I think I am asking the wrong questions. What if is this IS what God has for her life? What if God wants her to take care of this man forever? Always taking care of him? Even if he never wakes up. Is that too much? Would God ask that of her? I think it just might be in God's character to do so. The Word is full of examples of the Lord asking humans to sacrifice and do what is not in our human plan. Moses, Abraham, Esther, Jonah, Mary, Paul, and of course Jesus (although sacrifice was always Jesus' plan). My point being am I willing to sacrifice? To what extent? Do I have a limit? When do I draw the line and say "not any farther"? Maybe God wants more than I am willing to give? If so, it is my heart that needs to move, not His. I want to be willing to give. To say graciously to God "whatever You desire, I am willing". It is a scary thought, isn't it?
As I think of recent conversations I have had with fellow believers I wonder do I give the best counsel? Often I think of what will cause the least amount of pain or sacrifice, when the reality is what costs us the most usually grows us the most to be like Him. I usually look to the quickest solution, when time really means nothing to God; He is not limited with the clock.
Maybe God wants you to stay in that marriage. Even though you have every right to leave, because you give more glory to God if you stay.
Maybe God wants you to keep that friendship. Even though you have the right to end it, because God wants to share His love through you.
Maybe God wants you to give up that job. Even though you will loose monetarily, He has other plans for you and your family.
Maybe God wants you to stay single. Because you are an amazing example of letting the Lord be your husband and your childrens' Father.
Maybe God wants you to send your kids to public school. Even though you want to keep them sheltered and safe. He wants you or them to shine in that area.
Maybe God wants you to home school your kids. To sacrifice the time and energy now to prepare them for later.
Maybe God wants you to never be financially secure. Because if you didn't need Him to provide, you wouldn't rely on Him at all.
Maybe God wants you to not take that vacation. Because the time and money you spend could go to a different cause.
Maybe God wants you to take in a foster child. Because they need to see the love of a family and ultimately know the love of the Lord.
Maybe God wants you to stay right where you are. Even though the easier thing would be to go. It would cause less pain if you just left your situation and moved on. But the greater glory comes from staying, learning, growing, and relying on God.
I am praying that Cale will come out of his coma and soon. But more so I am praying for Kathleen. That she will continue to be a shining example of sacrifice no matter the cost. That she would be willing to do whatever it is that God wants her to do, sacrifice and all. I look at her example and am amazed.
I am more so praying for myself. That the Lord would put a desire in my heart that I would want His will over mine. What living a Spirit-led life looks like is different for each of us. It is not a one answer fits all deal. But am I willing to seek, find and then follow. That is the real question.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I also did this for myself. Did I enjoy the process? Not so much.
Where are Clinton and Stacy when I need them?
My friend Beth once told me that she equates name with certain styles. For example, Beth and Jill remind her of khakis and denim. I equate that with sensible and boring. After a look in my closet though I think she may be right. Not much excitement there. No little black dresses, no shimmering or embellished tops, No glitzy jackets. But I do have 5 pairs of khakis, 5 pairs of jeans, one denim shirt, two denim jackets, and 3 denim skirts. Not to mention the several pairs of khaki or denim cropped pants. Or how about 24 t-shirts, all solids, no stripes or patterns. 7 of them are white. I also have about the same number of long sleeved t-shirts. Can you say dull?
This weekend I purchased 2 button down shirts. Exactly the same. Different color. Both solid. They came in gingham prints and floral prints but I chose solid. Predictable? I think so. I tried the print and it just didn't feel right. I was uncomfortable. Weird, I know. My closet kind of looks like a big girl version of granimals. Remember where you just match the animal and the outfit matched? Blue shirt & khaki pants. Pink shirt & jeans. Sometimes I get a little wild and add...who am I kidding? I never veer off the equation.
My sister-in-law always knew just what to wear. She always looked amazing and well put together. Accessories, shoes, purse, the whole thing. I would take my cues from her on what was "fashionable". Not that I followed her lead, I was just a little bit knowledgeable then.
I want to be that woman who wears hip clothing and always looks in style. I would love to be like Beth Moore in the fashion area (as well as others) but that takes time, effort, knowledge and money. I don't have much of any of that. Is it OK to settle for clean and sensible?
What are your thoughts on keeping fashionably current? Do you put effort into it? Or do you hold to the clean and sensible opinion too?
Friday, March 12, 2010
I am still reading through Crazy Love and I find myself asking the question "What does this look like lived out in MY life?" I know God is up to something. Trying to teach me, talk to me, direct me. I know that we have had "Crazy Love periods" in our family from time to time but I don't want to live my testimony in the past. I want it to always be present. So I keep asking myself and the Lord what does it look like in the midst of making dinner, grocery shopping, doing laundry, going to church, homeschooling and working part-time? Or is that it? Is this what it looks like? I am not sure. I will keep praying and seeking.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Like Jamie I can hardly believe that February is over. I heard a quote this weekend that said 'the days go slow and the years go fast' but I think the days are going fast too. I spent much of February just trying to keep up with all that needed to be done. For a girl that likes to be one step ahead it was not fun. March looks to be another very busy month. The calendar is already filling up with dates to remember, meetings to attend, retreats to plan, and deadlines to meet. There is one weekend in the middle of the month the we have a little get-away planned and I am hoping to do a little reflecting on the busyness of life and see if there are some things that should be eliminated for the sake of sanity. When it is all 'good' things that need to be done it is difficult to chose the least of the good.
Here are the things I did manage to get checked off my list in February.
*Make Eden's birthday special. Eden turned 12 and had a friend sleepover. Decorations, invitations, pizza, games, movies. Whew...
*Make Ella's birthday special. Thank goodness Ella turned 4 and a simple little morning tea party with one little friend was enough to make the day special.
*Dinner with girlfriends. We even tried a new restaurant!
*I am continuing to read through the New Testament, but I did fall a few days behind this month. Thank goodness I only have to read a chapter a day so catching up is much more attainable than when I fall behind on reading through the entire Bible.
Here in the Northwest the weather has been wonderful! Sunshine and warmer temperatures make me excited about Spring! I am looking forward to planning my garden this month and starting some yard work.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Things I love:
I love seeing pictures of people
Especially people from my past. Some who haven't changed at all, some who have changed much. I like that I can check them out without being their friend.
I also love seeing pictures of my kids friends; goofy, silly and what they are up to.
I love seeing nearly daily photos of my new great-nephew.
I love knowing what people are up to. Example: "Going to Hawaii tomorrow", "Starting a new job", "Reading a great book"
I like that I can get a sort of insight into my kids world view, see some of their conversations, and use it to spark conversations at home.
Things I don't like:
I hate too much information. I really don't need to know EVERYTHING. Example: "I am having trouble relieving myself" (yes, I really saw this one)
This also goes for pictures that show things or situations I don't want to see. I have been surprised several times by people I know in situations captured for the world to see on FB.
Saying 'ignore' to anyone who tries to friend me
It makes me feel bad. Even if I have not seen that person in 25 years.
Bad spelling or short text form spelling.
Things I just don't get:
Farms, Fishtanks, and Mafia Wars? Never tried 'em.
Sweetshop? How does me accepting a chocolate cherry give money to St. Judes Hospital?
Becoming a fan of things like 'I stubbed my toe and then said Ouch' ???
Telling the world so much information.
I have noticed that FB makes me more judgmental or critical of people too (which comes so easy to me anyway). When I see what they are a 'fan' of and I don't agree with it, when they post a bible verse that is not backed up with their actions, or even a sappy comment to someone's struggle when wouldn't it be better to give that person a call? Maybe this is the new way. But I would rather get a phone call or a card than have someone write on my wall. Of course not for all situations. Little struggles like a cold, that would merit of FB message. But the big things need real contact.
FB is so strange in the fact that it connects people from all areas in my life and all ages into one neat little package. But all those people can see me and hear my same thoughts. Although I don't believe this to be an issue for me myself I can see huge implications when a friend and a colleague see the same information. When the professional and the recreational meet. When the secular and religious connect. Oh wait - there shouldn't be anything different for that last one. My bad.
So, what are your thoughts on FB? Love it? Hate it? Or are you like me and feel both?
Monday, February 15, 2010
My husband has been a Youth Pastor for 10 years and we have seen a lot of kids come through our church. These kids consist of traditional family homes, divorced, single-parent, grandparent, aunts/uncles, group homes, etc. We have come to the conclusion that if mom and dad profess to be Christians yet do not live it out in their lives the kids have a very slim chance of living it out themselves. They have been taught it really doesn't matter so it really doesn't matter to the kids. The exception has been when a kid from a non-believing home chooses to follow Christ. That situation is difficult for that child, but they are not getting conflicting messages at home - "do what I say, not what I do". I thought I give you some of the thoughts that parents have shared with us through the years.
"Make church fun so my kid wants to be here"
"Can you make church not so 'church-y'"
"Kids can't absorb Bible study after being in school all day, so just have fun"
"My kids need something 'deeper' than what you offer"
I love the "deeper" comment. More often than not that kid is on his way out the door and usually not to another church. The pattern usually goes like this: Discontent with our youth group, shops around for another for awhile, quits going to church all together.
Question: If your kid didn't like school would you give them the option of not going? If they wanted to join the basketball team but didn't want to run at practice would that be OK? If your kid wanted to drive but didn't want to follow traffic rules would the police let that go? There are some things in our culture that are non-negotiable like school and following the laws yet when it comes to Christianity we don't want to take the whole truth. I am not talking about church attendance, I am talking about living out our commitment to Christ. We as parents set the standard. I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan along side of The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer. This is not a new problem - Tozer's book was written in 1948. Both books state the same issue of not really being a committed follower of Christ.
It starts with us.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I just wanted to pass along a new to me online magazine. It is called Exemplify:Women living lives that glorify. There is a little feature I am going to try: You can print out a copy of the magazine which is good because looking at it online doesn't do the same thing for me as thumbing through a magazine on the couch with a cup of coffee. I hope you enjoy!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Month One of Fabulous Forty has been so much fun! I love working off a list, it makes me happy!
Here is what I have been up to
6. Go with friends out to dinner - Had a great time at our favorite place! Lots of great conversations and laughs
8. Read through the New Testament in a new-to-me version - Started reading the Message on Jan 20
30. Laugh out loud with some good friends - This goes with #6
31. Read a good fiction book - Read Scared. It was SO good. I totally recommend it.
39. Put a little more effort into my appearance - Kept my nails files and clear polish on all month Woo Hoo! It is the little things ladies.
I am looking forward to see what I can cross off the list or at least work on this next month.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"
You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.
What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults - and choosing to celebrate each others differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
In the "Women Over A Certain Age"(like 16) department I found very few pairs of skinny jeans. In the Junior Department however skinny jeans were everywhere. With coaxing from my daughter I tried a pair on from the junior department. Humiliating. All the bad adjectives could be inserted here. Not a good look. I tried the skinny jeans from the "older" department. Still not a good look. My conclusion: Not everyone should wear skinny jeans. I will need to find another way to wear the fabulous boots.
I also tried a pair of Not Your Daughter's Jean that I had heard great things about. Didn't like those either. For one they ran about 2 sizes too small. If I am going to pay $100+ a pair (not that I ever would) I want them to lie to me and tell me I am 2 sizes smaller than I really am, not 2 sizes larger. Why would I pay that much to feel worse about myself? I can do that by standing at the right angle in the privacy of my own room, for free. I really thought I would LOVE these jeans and be willing to put them on my charge account. Didn't happen. They say they "lift and tuck", but let me tell you all they lift and tuck has to go somewhere...spilling out other places...not pretty.
I am praying that bootcut and straight leg never go out of fashion or I will be in trouble. I think I am going back to my Levi's, or maybe a good ol' pair of sweats. Did I tell you that not everyone should wear skinny jeans?
Monday, January 18, 2010
*Happy the sun is shining instead of rain
*Love the Fab 40 list - I may need to expand this thing because of its effect on keeping me focused!
*Thinking about purchasing a pair of skinny jeans...but not teenager skinny...39 year old skinny. I recieved some great boots for Christmas and they really need to be worn with pants inside.
I need some help. I want to buy some giftcards or small gifts ($10) for the teachers I work with to show appreciation and as unimaginable as it is not everyone likes coffee (shock). Do you have any great ideas?
Monday, January 11, 2010
I am so excited to be posting my fabulous forty list. It is twice as much fun since it isn’t just me trying to tackle 40 things but doing it with friends. Some of the things I will be doing more than once. As I look over the list I see that I need to prepare and plan ahead. Having the supplies on hand will help. Maybe there is something to that old saying about how you are more likely to meet a goal if you write it down. Who knew? I also want to try to take pictures to document the fabulous forty
1. Take 1 picture everyday for one month – can’t do 365 but 30 seems do-able.
2. Learn how to take a GOOD picture/be in the pictures. I always shy away from the camera, not wanting to be photographed. I want it documented that I was here!
3. Print and complete photo collage for my living room.
4. Go on a Girls' Weekend Get-Away
5. Have a new friend over for lunch
6. Go with friends out for lunch/dinner. I foresee this in the near future…
7. Make friendships a priority by giving them time to cultivate.
8. Read through the New Testament in a new-for-me-version, I am going to use The Message.
9. Try a new vegetable in the garden. Kohlrabi? Cabbage? And then keep up on the garden
10. Plant an herb garden and actually use the herbs.
11. Plant a tree (or two) in my front yard
12. Make raspberry jam from my own raspberries. I am planning for a bounty of raspberries!
13. Can something: maybe tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, or peaches.
14. Learn how to make a piece of jewelry I would be proud to wear, I have an idea and it involves resin.
15. Take a friend a meal for no reason.
16. Have a family over for dinner
17. Send a cards when I see someone needs encouragement. Note to self: have cards on hand.
18. Go on an overnight trip with Ron
19. Make Ron’s birthday special (40) May
20. Make Emma’s birthday special (17) December
21. Make Eli’s birthday special (14) September
22. Make Eden’s birthday special (13) February
23. Make Eva’s birthday special (9) May
24. Make Ella’s birthday special (4) February
25. Remember my friends birthdays with a little token, already working on this one.
26. Take a Community Ed. Class. Maybe cooking, self defense, or couponing ?
27. Exercise for 30 minutes a day/5 days a week for one month. Just got a stationary bike so excuses about the weather are no more.
28. Hike Badger Mt.
29. Take a picture of the same thing in each of the 4 seasons
30. Laugh out loud with some good friends. I think this one needs to be done more than once.
31. Read a good fiction book (I never read fiction) Ron bought me Scared for Christmas.
32. Throw a themed dinner party. Not too fancy or involved but lots of fun!
33. Treat myself to a pedicure…hopefully with friends.
34. Paint a piece of furniture with Jamie.
35. Paint Eva and Ella’s bedroom.
36. Paint the girls bathroom a fun color.
37. Learn to sew something, maybe a pillow or apron
38. Make the flower arrangement that I have been thinking about for 3 YEARS
39. Put a little more effort into my appearance…maybe highlights? Definitely work on keeping my nails manicured.
40. Only buy flattering clothes I love to wear.
So there you go. Thank you Jamie for being fabulous with me!
Friday, January 8, 2010
A dear friend told me recently that she thought that 2009 was the year of "struggle and strife" and after I thought about it I think she was right. There were lots of difficult things that happened and that we experienced. So much of this life is not necessarily the choices that we make but how we respond to the situations in our life that we have no choice in. It is just a path of our journey. 2010 has started bittersweet for our family. My sister in law lost her battle with cancer on New Year's Day and her first grandbaby was born on New Year's Eve. It was a long hard battle but thank God for her salvation and the promise of heaven. We know that it was not the end for her...just another beginning. She was 40 years old.
I want to respond well this year. I want to live with purpose and direction. So thanks to Jamie and with her encouragement I am committing to do 40 things this year that I turn 40. We will update once a month and let you know what we are working on and have accomplished towards our goals. The items on my list may not seem like much to you, but it will help me live life this year on purpose. Come back Monday and see our full lists!