Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Goals

2012 Goals

To grow in joy, peace, and Jesus


To get down to 135 lbs. by:

1) doing 30 day shred

2) starting back up with weight watchers for at least 6 months

3) doing the 21 day refined sugar/junk food fast

4) training for, participating in Eppie’s Great Race

5) playing zumba on wii fit, and going to class when able

6) doing pilates, going to class when able

7) lose 32 lbs by 32 (August 11)

8) drink at least 64 oz. of water a day


To grow in my relationship with Jesus, specifically in the areas of listening to Him, and developing my gratitude and love, as well as work on my spiritual gifts by:

1) Continuing my 1000 gifts journal (1000 to be reached no later than June 1.) that may include spending time seeking out beauty in order to find something to be thankful for that day.

2) Spend time in silence everyday, at least 5 minutes, to get rid of the noise impairing my ability to hear the Lord.

3) continue to lead CBS core group (pray and reevaluate about leading in 2012-2013)

4) wake up early 5 days a week to spend with the Lord, at least 30 minutes (between 5:30-6 am)


With Isaac:

To grow in my love for him, to be submissive, supportive, and encouraging, by:

1) praying for him daily

2) sending encouraging notes, texts, emails at least 3 times a week

3) allow his word to be the final one more often

4) To not clam up when we disagree and respect him enough to have a conversation with him.

With Chloe:

To guide, teach, and love her in a kind and gentle manner, and enjoy who she is as we learn and grow together, by:

1) praying for her daily

2) counting to 10 before shouting at her, and praying in that moment

3) playing with her, the games that she wants to play, at least once a day

4) Disciplining in love, learning new ways instead of the go-to time out and spanking. look up and learn more about natural consequences

5) doing at least 1 art project a week with her

With Judah:

To guide, teach and love him in a kind and gentle manner, and enjoy who he is as we learn and grow together, by:

1) praying for him daily

2) spending undivided time with him, interacting and teaching him

3) encouraging him to explore his world safely

4) disciplining in love as it continues to be necessary, with prayer and explanation

5) taking him outside at least once a day on the days the weather permits to show him it is important to take care of his body


To care for our home in a godly way, and grow in learning and understanding of what God wants for me as the wife and mother of this family, and to be a good steward of what He has blessed us with, by:

1) buying bread only 1 time a month, making it when we run out

2) spending no more than $300 a month on groceries, diapers, and household items

3) making household items myself instead of buying them, to save money as well as to know what is going into these items

4) Participate in the 31 Days to an Organized Home challenge, starting no later than March 1.

5) Make at least 5 home-cooked meals a week, with enough leftover to provide Isaac with lunch the next day. Consider freezer meals 1x a month to make at least 1-2 meals a week this way. (Especially for Wednesdays.)

6) Make more things from scratch, including but not only: sauce, jam, snacks for kids, bread, creamer, rubs/spice packets, bisquick.


To find ways to enjoy myself and find the things that God has created me to enjoy, so I might be a better wife and mother, and remind those around me that all good and perfect gifts come from the Lord, by:

1) making more beauty products and finding what works well, (lotion, bath salts, scrubs, lip balm)

2) making tie blankets/hat for baby presents

3) Searching Pinterest for ideas, and actually making some of them.

4) investing in a hot glue gun- 12/27/11

5) spending at least 15 minutes a day reading a book for pleasure

6) blogging at least 1x a month

7) making at least online albums or possibly photo books, or printing pictures and making physical albums for the kids

8) taking more pictures of my family and friends, and seeking out moments that are worth capturing to see beauty and Jesus

Friday, November 25, 2011


I have been thinking a lot about what it means to have a head-over-heels, in love relationship with Jesus. This is something I want, or rather, want to want. Lately, I HAVE truly wanted this. So, I've been trying to remember what falling in love with my husband was like. What did I want? How did I act? I wanted to spend all my time with him; I wanted to know everything about him; I wanted to meet those people that made him who he was, and I wanted to be an encouragement and blessing to him.
Then I began to examine my relationship with Jesus. Are these characteristics part of that relationship? Unfortunately, at this time, no. Not all the time, at least. If the relationship with the Lord is not an "in love" marriage type relationship, what is it? I had a huge "ah-ha" moment a few weeks ago. I feel like, or act like, I am in an arranged marriage with Him. What a light bulb that was! Think about it. I grew up in the church with believing parents, and of course they wanted me to be with Jesus. We became betrothed when I was 5 and first accepted Him into my heart. My faith was there, but it was still mostly my parents'. When my faith became real, my own, in high school, that was when we got married. I wanted to marry Him- it made sense, especially considering the alternatives. Arranged marriages work for most people that enter them correctly- with respect and honor for the person your parents have chosen. They would not knowingly choose poorly for their child- they want what is best. I do respect and honor the Lord. I even have glimpses of deep love and affection for Him. I would hope so! We have been together a long time! But, I have realized that deep, all-consuming love that most marriages have is missing. And that's not good enough. I take that as a good sign.
I WANT to fall in love with Him and be surrounded by everything He has for me- to step out in faith and be vulnerable, and willing to let Him see all of me, the good and the ugly. We have been polite long enough. Real love is exciting and messy. It's adventurous and scary. (Sure there are times of monotony, but those shouldn't just be the norm. I can, and want to expect more.) The rewards for sticking it out are immeasurable. I am seeing more and more qualities in Jesus that I want- my crush is deepening. I can't wait until I am able to say "I love You" with true, reckless abandon and mean it with every fiber of my being. Even arranged marriages can become love matches.

Friday, September 16, 2011


For someone who boasts about having a good memory, I forget a lot of things. Mostly, I forget how good God is and all the amazing things He has done for me in the past, and His unfathomable love for me. I feel like if I just REMEMBER what He's done, Who He is, things would be so different. I would live my life acting like a child of God. I would be able to see through the annoyances and the things that don't go my way. I would have a heart of gratitude. I would live a gracious and loving life as I pass that on the to people around me- to give them a taste of remembrance of all God has done.
The Bible study I am doing with some ladies at church has us write down the things that we see God do in our everyday life. (I don't often do that.) As a family, we say what we are thankful for at the end of the day. I enjoy that time- especially seeing the world of thankfulness and gratitude through the eyes of a 3 year old. I also started doing #1000thanks on instagram, capturing all the little things I am thankful for throughout the day, to remind myself of all God has blessed me with. (See here for the explanation on how that started.)
So now? I want to remember. I always want to remember. Even with a baby crying in the background. God is good. I have a baby that is crying. Not everyone can say that. I have a family that loves me, and little people God has entrusted to my care. I have a home (that is always too messy for my taste). But, I have a home. I live in a place that I can worship freely. I have a God who loved me and those like me enough to save me, and wiped the slate clean for me. How can I forget?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've really been struggling lately, trying to figure life out. Shouldn't that have happened already? I know being a stay at home mom is the role Jesus has for me right now, but I NEVER feel good at it. Or adequate. I feel like I am always working from a place of weakness, and right now, from a place of defeat. The first part I think is accurate and potentially Godly. The second part I know is satan trying to get to me and keep me wallowing in self-pity instead of running straight into God's arms. Self-pity is comfortable, familiar. I don't always want to get out of it. It's cozy. But, obviously, it's not healthy for me or my family, and a life of defeat is not what God has for me. I know that in my brain, but getting myself to act on that can be a completely different thing.
When I say working from a place of weakness can be Godly, here's what I mean: Some people are called to and do what they are really good at. They work in their strengths, they succeed, they use their talents and spiritual gifts. When I was a nurse, I felt like I was working in my strength. I was a good nurse. I enjoyed it, patients and co-workers often commended me for how I interacted with them, and how efficient I was. This is not to toot my own horn, but to say I know that I was working in my God-given strength. But, I know, 100%, that God has called me to stay home with my kids. Whether or not I will go back to being a nurse, I have no idea. That's so not part of my frame of reference right now. But, I don't feel like I am using my spiritual gifts or that I can even recognize them. And I now undestand that this is exactly how God wants me. If I work in this place of weakness and fraility, I HAVE to rely on Him for everything. I can't do it on my own. I constantly have to check in with Him to see if I'm doing life right. I do pray that my gifts will show up one day and begin to be used and stretched, so I might use them for God's glory. God is refining me right now through my struggles. I don't feel like I'm making it very far. Some days I feel weak but there is forward movement, other days I am stuck in defeat and drudgery. A lot of that could/would change if I allowed myself the joy of seeing the world through my kids' eyes, and if I stopped more frequently throughout the day to check in with God and myself to see if I'm getting overwhelmed and handing it over to God to handle. I get caught in the little, meaningless things that take my attention away from my kids and the tasks at hand. Sometimes just to escape and sometimes because I'm lazy and sinful. I want to be a fun mom, and I want to have a clean-ish house, but life just seems so heavy right now. spiritual warfare, maybe? There's nothing that terrible going on that I should be feeling this way. Except sleep deprivation because I can't seem to get myself to bed at a decent time. Again, all my fault.
Sorry for the stream of consciousness post. I've been wanting to write something like this, and it's late now, and my brain isn't working well. But, since no one reads this, it doesn't matter anyway.

Friday, March 18, 2011


bah. I would post more if 1 or both of 2 things happened: 1) I could post from my phone directly onto blogger, or 2) I could email a note to myself and then cut and paste that here on my computer. I have things to say, but I'm not usually on the computer when I think of them! (my phone is another appendage, so I always have it with me.)

Anyway, this is something I'm thinking about talking about during an opening for Bible study in a couple of weeks. It's not perfect, but what I was thinking at the time.

It's no wonder that sin is compared to weeds. I was recently weeding the little plot in my backyard that is designated for my vegetable garden in preparation for planting. I haven't really done anything with it since the last tomato harvest in September. Man, do weeds grow quickly and take over everything! It took me over 2 hours to get all the weeds out, and I filled an entire wheelbarrow full.
So, how are weeds like sin? I'm glad you asked!
1) They can take over an area that was meant for something useful if we are not diligent in taking care of it.
2) Some weeds are easy to pull out. They're small and don't have much of a root system. Those are like the little things that get in the way of our daily walk with the Lord, but they're easy enough to notice and remove quickly to get back on track to having a clean space.
3) Some weeds need extra muscle power and even tools to get out. They have roots that are deep and wide reaching. These are the ones that are the sin we fall prey to on a regular basis- ones that are a major stumbling block in our lives. These need to be removed with tools- prayer, memorizing scripture for the times that temptation arises, fasting, accountability partners, and the like. Sometimes we are unable to get the whole root out, not matter how much we try. But, each time it comes up, with the right tool, and noticing it early, the weed is easier to pull out. If it comes back again, it's not as firmly rooted and is even easier to pull out. (Unless we ignore it and let it continue to grow.) Eventually, all the roots will be found, and the weed/sin will be gone for good. This is victory as a believer as well as a gardener!
4) The earlier they are detected, the smaller they are and the easier they are to remove.
5) Sometimes there are things in our garden that aren't necessarily weeds, but they aren't plants that belong in that space. Suppose you have a pretty ground cover nearby. It's great while it's contained, but if it gets into the garden, it will take over everything else and crowd out the things that were being grown there. Ground cover has a purpose where it is, but when it gets outside its domain, it is no longer a good plant. This is like the interests that aren't necessarily bad in our lives, but if they're not properly contained, they can take over. (I think specifically time wasters.) Or, they're pretty and nice, but in the wrong place, they're not what was intended. This is like when we try and move ahead of God and His will. The ground cover is great plant, but its place is not in a vegetable garden. So, even that nice, pretty plant needs to be removed.
6) After all that weeding is done, we need to make sure to cultivate the soil so the plants that are supposed to be there can flourish. They need special care, attention, and love. The soil needs to be mixed up with plant food (in our case, Bible study, regular church attendance, spending time with friends that encourage us closer to the Lord). It also needs to be ready. If not, you may miss the prime planting window. Things will still grow, but they may not be as fruitful as they would have been had the garden been tended to in the right time.
Think about it. Are there any areas of your life where you have things that are good, but out of place, that God might be asking you to remove? Any things that need to be contained? How about big weeds that can be made a little smaller this time? Or little weeds to rid of now so they don't become bigger and harder to remove? Will you allow Jesus to be your master gardener, telling you what needs to be planted and where? Tell you what might be planted in the wrong season or place? By constantly ridding our gardens of weeds and unnecessary plants, we allow room for optimal growth of nourishing, life-giving plants, ones that were meant to be there, picked especially for us, by Jesus. By constantly spending time with Him, we understand when the right time is to move and be part of what He is doing. We cultivate a heart of readiness to do what He wants, when He wants it. He wants to grown in each of us the perfect garden of talents and gifts meant to glorify Him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


We are currently going through Genesis in my local Community Bible Study and our leadership team just finished reading chapters 34-36. Genesis 34 is the story of the rape of Dinah and what comes from that. I've now read the story half a dozen times or so, and maybe half that in the last week. I am bothered by this story at a very deep level; one that I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why my reaction is so strong. Rape is never an easy topic, sure. It's sad what happened, absolutely. But why am I feeling so angry toward this story? I've never felt that before. I have said in the past that while I like the name Dinah (God has judged), I could never name a daughter that because of what happened to her.
Here's what I think: I think God is moving me to something bigger than I know. I don't know what that is at the moment, but I am angry. It makes me so, so sad that this girl is a mere footnote in the line of the Patriarchs. Here she is, important enough to be named as a descendant of Jacob, but not important enough to be thought of in the aftermath of her rape. Dinah goes out to meet with other women, and Shechem sees her, desires her, then violates her. There is no evidence that she did anything to bring this on- no mention that they knew each other before this encounter. He saw, he liked, he took. He then placated himself by realizing that he did, in fact, like her, and spoke tenderly to her afterward, and asked his father to ask Jacob for her hand. Just because he tried to make good, does not make his action any less reprehensible.
Jacob's sons hear about this and are filled with grief and fury, rightly so! This is the only time that there is any response that is fitting to the crime against this poor girl. In that grief and fury, they should have gone to her and processed with her, loved her, spoken quietly of the love of Yahweh to her. (I'm sure that's not how things worked in their culture, but someone should have done these things.) At this moment, Dinah needed her family to help her heal from her shame, not just avenge the wrong done to the family name. God deals with the wrongs Simeon and Levi enact by not allowing either of them the honor of being the ancestor of Jesus, (though Levi is the father of the priestly order. hmm. curious. Maybe that means Simeon was the ring leader?)
But, what of Dinah? We never hear from her again. Her rape merely set the stage for God to move Jacob away from this land and preserve the people of the covenant. That doesn't mean I think that God doesn't care about her and her hurts. I absolutely know he does. I hope that she was able to go to the Lord with all her hurts, physical and otherwise, and be ministered to in a way her family didn't. I also know that her rape wasn't really the point of this story. but I think that's what makes me so sad. She was just an afterthought in this whole mess. In ancient cultures, she would have been considered damaged- no one would marry her now. From this moment on, she has no future to speak of. She is forever just a footnote.
As for me, my heart is breaking as I write this. I don't want this to be one of those times I feel God stirring something in me and then do nothing about it. I want to stay uncomfortable until God reveals to me what He has planned. I want to be a champion for someone, something. God has placed a desire on my heart to be involved with women's ministry, and I currently am in a small group leader role. I'm not sure if that is the extent of that desire, or if there is something else out there. I do have my RN license, and am fascinated with infectious disease and public health. I also have a family that I KNOW God has asked me to care for and stay home with in this season of my life. There has to be a way these things can work together, because I know they are all from the Lord. I am currently doing a Lenten devotional series that I am getting via email, and the very first one came yesterday. Fittingly, as I'm processing all of this, the writer talks about using this season of Lent as a time to break the silence and speak out for those that cannot. The passage referenced is Jonah 3:1-4:11. Jonah speaks, and Ninevah is saved from destruction. Who am I to speak out for? What is around me that is shrouded in secrecy that needs to come to the Light of healing? The writer is starting to speak out on violence toward women. Ironic, no? For which of the voiceless is God calling YOU to be a voice? My prayer is to find that answer.

Monday, January 3, 2011


So. Yeah. It's been awile since I posted on here. That last post? Just before I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. Wheee! See? There was something wrong in my noggin. I'm much better. I have attempted to improve my relationship with the Lord, and while probably mediocre, it has made a huge difference. I have grown tremendously as a person and Believer. Praise God for His grace!
What's happened since May of '09? Well, I went through a Beth Moore Bible study that God really used to begin the healing process, and then I joined Community Bible Study, which He used and is continuing to use, to grow and refine me. Chloe is now almost 2 1/2 and very precocious- she asked for "canneloni" the other day, and knew what she was asking for! Isaac and I are facilitating a small group through our church, and I am blessed constantly by the women I am surrounded by. I think God may have a place for me in Women's Ministry someday. I love it. Lastly, we now have an almost 7 week old son, Judah. He is a joy. God really redeemed my birth experience with Chloe through Judah's. I'm praying my safeguards that I have put in place will help this time around, and that if PPD does show itself, I will be able to recognize it sooner.
I hope to be on here more often than once every year and a half. Happy 2011!