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The Work of our Hands…

10 Jun

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As my family and I are moving on through 2014 (Can you guys believe that the year is almost halfway over?), it seems be getting busier and busier.  I feel like we are moving into a new season in our lives, and if I think too much about it i feel a bit panicky.

Ove the past 5 years, I have protected our schedule fiercely.  We are homebodies, for sure, and enjoy just being home together, working in the garden and playing with Legos and Play-doh, reading books, and watching cartoons.  Jason loves coming home in the afternoons and having dinner on the deck and just working around the house on Saturdays.  If you come over on a Sunday, there is a good chance you will have to wake the entire family up from a nap.

I have become really good at saying no to people.  We didn’t sign Charlie up for tee ball this year (at Jason’s insistence) even when it seemed like all of his friends were playing, instead opting to enjoy a summer free of weeknight practices and Saturdays spent at the ball field.  Maddie isn’t taking any dance or gymnastics classes, and we practice kicking the soccer ball out in the yard instead of at 5:30 every Saturday morning (Soccer practice isn’t really that early, but it is at a ridiculously early hour.).

We really enjoy our life, and these years have been good.

But I can feel it changing…

Charlie is starting Kindergarten this year.  We have decided to homeschool the kids, and I am really excited about that.  This is, however, requiring a change in our schedule.  I am signing up for field trips and co-ops, scheduling weekly activities that we will HAVE to be at.  Our mornings are now going to be set aside for school, not hanging around the house in our pajamas, or doing housework, or going to the park with friends.

My church is chartering a MOPS, and a friend and I are the co-coordinators.  This is a huge responsibility, but something I feel is really important for our community and definitely feel called by God to do.  Every Wednesday morning will be set aside for this, plus planning and preparation throughout the week.

Then there are our regular activities: Bible Study on Tuesdays and Story Time on Thursdays.

Also, I am considering signing Maddie up for ballet on Monday afternoons in the fall, just so she can have something for herself when I know I will be focusing so much on Charlie.

Then there’s me.  I am still writing for a local magazine and teaching Sunday School off and on.  I am directing VBS, and am in the middle of the planning crush for that. Plus, I want to love and support my husband in all of his endeavors, and just make sure he still gets the best of me and not the leftovers at the end of the day.

Can we do all of this?  Are some things going to have to fall by the wayside? Of course. 

My devotion this morning dealt with the fact that God puts every thing in our life for a reason.  It is all for a purpose: to prepare us for His greater plan for our lives.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;  establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17

This is my prayer for my family: that every single thing we do and every moment of our calendar is established by God, that it is meaningful for something.

If there is anything that I don’t need to be doing, I want to release it and leave it to someone else and not feel badly about it.  It could be someone else’s mission, after all.

There is one thing I know for sure-I am going to soak up every minute of this summer!  We are going to go to the pool and read books and be lazy when we can.  And I am really going to appreciate it.

Easter Sunday Picture Fail!

20 Apr

Am I the only one who just CANNOT get a good picture of the entire family at the same time?  It just seems to be impossible for us!  Either someone is looking away or crying or has their eyes closed or has hair blowing all over the place.

Here’s what we came up with today:

Maddie is looking up in this one.

Maddie is looking up in this one. I think she was staring at me wondering why I had run from the camera (which we had set up on the hood of the truck-explaining the lopsidedness of the pics) to them, yelling, “Smile, smile!  It’s going to take a picture! Get ready!”  And why do I have a bubble wand in my hand?  That is so random.

 

Charlie is beginning to show his massive lack of patience.  (This was the second picture we took, after all!)

Charlie is beginning to show his massive lack of patience. (This was the second picture we took, after all!)  Plus, I was struggling to peek around Maddie.

 

And by this time (the third picture) the kids had just had it.

And by this time (the third picture) the kids had just had it.  Plus, not sure what’s going on with my eyes.

 

One thing I will point out, in case you didn’t notice: Jason looks PERFECT in all of these pictures! What’s up with that?  How does he do it?

Aside from our lack of a family photo when we all looked so great, we had a great Easter, and I hope you did, too.

O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15: 55-57

Things I am Loving Right Now…

3 Apr

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I apologize in advance to my friends up North who are still knee-deep (or higher) in snow, wearing coats and scarves and hats.  You may not want to read this…

…but I just have to brag on this gorgeous week we are having.  We really needed for this winter to be over, and it finally is.  I am high on vitamin D right now!

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.  Genesis 1:31a

 

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 28 – Truly Fasting

27 Mar

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Well, here we are heading into our last weekend of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I hope that this month has been as meaningful for some of you as it has been for me.

As we head into the weekend, I am presenting you with your last challenge.

 

Challenge #22 – Spend the entire weekend (from sundown Friday to sundown Sunday) truly unplugged.  Don’t use social media, watch TV, or play any online or video games.  If there is any other aspect of unplugging that you would like to include in this weekend fast, I say go for it.

I am pretty nervous about this, honestly.

What if I get bored?  After the last couple of months of thinking of things to do with my time, I have plenty to do!

What if someone needs to get in touch with me and can’t?  Since limiting my use of social media for the past couple of months, not too many people use that to get in touch with me anymore.  And if someone really needs me, they can just call, right?

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Let’s use this weekend to get closer to our real-life friends and family, to get closer to God, and to get closer to ourselves.

I won’t be posting over the weekend, but I will see you all back here Monday for our link-up.  Don’t forget that if you don’t have a blog to link-up, you can e-mail me your testimony at mommyinbonlee@hotmail.com and I may post it during the month of April.

Have a great weekend!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 23 – Being Held Accountable

22 Mar

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Challenge #18 – Memorize and meditate on Hebrews 4:13.

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31 Days Unplugged – Day 22 – A Little Encouragement for YOU!

21 Mar

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We are in the home stretch, guys!  I just want to offer a little encouragement to you today.

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As I have had more time in my days (and have had to go without Instagram, which I LOVE), I have been using my camera more and more.  I snapped this picture of a little trinket that I keep on my nightstand.  It is really inspiring to me and hope that it is to you, too!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 19 – Random Acts of Kindness

18 Mar

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As I have found a bit more time in my schedule, it has been on my heart to do more for other people.  Jesus commanded us before He ascended to Heaven to love one another, and it is a very serious command.  If we all just loved one another the way that Christ loves us, the world would be a much better place, wouldn’t it?

One way that today’s Christians can demonstrate Christ’s love for us is through small acts of giving.  Showing kindness towards a person (whether you know them or not, whether they are a believer or not, whether you feel they deserve it or not) is not only good for the person on the receiving end, but the giver as well. Plus, Jesus told us that we should love everyone, so we should.

 

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Challenge #15 – This week, and every week, perform one random act of kindness.

Don’t know what to do as a random act of kindness?  Here are some ideas:

1. Bake some cookies and take them to your neighbors.

2. Pay for a cup of coffee for someone in McDonalds.

3. When you check out at the grocery story, buy a $5 gift card.  Hand it to someone in the parking lot.

4.  Offer to babysit for a young mother.

5.  Get up early and make a cup of coffee for your husband or wife.  Take it to them in bed.

6.  Make dinner for someone in your community who is sick.

7.  Hold a door open for someone.

8.  Tell someone they look nice today.

9.  Send a letter or card to someone.

10.  Visit a nursing home.

 

You see, random acts of kindness can take some time, or no time.  They can cost as much money as you want to spend, or no money at all.  The great thing, though, is that so many people benefit from them.

If you need some more ideas, check out this page.  She has some really great suggestions!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 18 – Unplugging Your Family

17 Mar

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As I have spent less and less time plugged in this month, I have become much more aware of other people and how they are spending their time.  I am no longer satisfied sitting next to Jason with both of us glued to our cell phones.  That just doesn’t count as quality time, you know?

Something else I don’t like seeing is this:

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Not that they aren’t the cutest things ever, but there are so many other things I would rather see them doing!

I have never been a fan of phones at the table, or the person riding next to me in the car scrolling through their newsfeed, but now I am aware of those things more than ever.  Honestly, I find it very rude.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 tells us, “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”

God gives us many pleasures in this life: our friends and family, our jobs, our churches, nature.  The list goes on and on!  Is your family taking advantage of these gifts from God, or are you allowing technology to rob you of those joys?

In this verse, King Solomon tells us that mealtimes in particular are meant to be a time of joy.  We need to take full advantage of those opportunities to sit around a table with our families, talk, laugh, and enjoy food and drink. Whether it’s a homemade meal or McDonald’s, in this busy, fast-paced world, God means for us to slow down and enjoy our meals together.

Challenge #14 – Today, I want you to pay attention to how your family uses technology.  Stop letting anyone use technology while a meal is taking place.  Use that time instead to talk, laugh, and find joy in each other!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 16 – Turn Our Eyes

15 Mar

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Challenge #13 – Memorize Psalm 119:37. 

This is a great verse to have memorized for those weak moments. Also, it is a great reminder that spending time in God’s word is more beneficial that anything we could ever do online.

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Have a great Sunday, everyone!

 

31 Days Unplugged – Day 13 – Do Something Big!

12 Mar

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We are 13 Days into the 31 Days Unplugged challenge, and we have made some serious changes in our daily routines. I hope that you are getting as much as I am out of this, and finding that your days are running much more smoothly.

Do you have a dream?  I mean, something BIG in your life that you have been putting off? Something that you think about every day, that you feel led by God to do, but for some reason or another you just never follow through with that nudge?

Romans 12:6-8 addresses different talents with which we have all been blessed, each different from another person’s:

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Have you been thinking about taking some college courses or finishing a degree, starting a Bible study, or planting a community garden?  Have you maybe felt like volunteering your time somewhere, going on a mission trip, or taking up a new hobby?  Maybe there is something special you have been thinking of doing with your kids or at work, or taking on a new responsibility at your church.

We all have different gifts that have been given to us by God, and we need to make sure that we are using them, not ignoring them.  Your gift could be planning, organizing, teaching, gardening, writing, or many many more things.  If you are feeling a nudge from God to do something BIG with the gift he has blessed you with, I say go for it!

Challenge #10- Think about something that you have been feeling led by God to do.  What gift has He blessed you with that you have been ignoring?  Spend the day praying about what God wants you to do, and ask Him to lead you in that direction.