Tag Archives: God

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.

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31 Days Unplugged – Day 5 – What to do with all that time?

4 Mar

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Welcome back!  We are on day 5 of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  At this point, we have unplugged from all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) during the day.  We are still using these things after the sun goes down, but we are dedicating our days to God and enjoying the abundant life he has promised to us.

If you’re like me, you are finding yourself with some extra time on your hands.  By cutting down on time in front of the computer or staring mindlessly at my cell phone, I have lots of time to do other things, even some things I have been putting off by saying I just didn’t have time to get to it.

Throughout the month, I (and some great guest-bloggers) am going to be giving you some inspiration for things to do to fill up the time that you will inevitably find throughout your day.

Challenge #4-Do something you have been putting off for awhile.  This could be cleaning or organizing, calling someone, writing thank you notes, ironing clothes, whatever it is you have been procrastinating.  You know, the thing you think about every day, but never seem to get done?

I have been wanting to organize my jewelry box for weeks, ever since I got a wonderful new (to me) jewelry box that was my grandma’s.  I have been keeping my jewelry stuffed in a drawer in our bedroom, and it was so messy that I could hardly open the drawer, and a lot of my jewelry was turning into a tangled mess.  I didn’t even want to wear any of my jewelry because it was such a hassle to get to it!

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry...

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry…

...and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

…and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

I feel so great having this done, and all I had to do was take 15 minutes I would have otherwise wasted scrolling through Facebook.

Ephesians 5: 15-16 says “So be careful how you live.  Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

So let’s spend our new found-time wisely!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 2 – Let’s Live Abundantly

1 Mar

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Well, we did it!  We went through one entire day, from sun-up to sun-down, without using social media.  I hope that you found it to be as uplifting as I did.  It is not easy, but spending that extra time with God made it worth it.  

I would love to hear about your experiences yesterday-please leave a comment below letting me know how yesterday went for you!

For today’s challenge, in addition to continuing without social media from sun-up to sundown, I would like for us all to memorize a piece of scripture that means so much to me when I feel tempted to give in and waste my precious, God-given time.

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Abundant is defined as “present in great quantity, more than adequate, over-sufficient, well supplied, abounding, or richly supplied.”  I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of life I want!  I don’t want to be satisfied with an adequate or sufficient life, I want an abundant life!

…and God wants that for us, too.

All we have to do, guys, is stop giving in to the thief that is coming to destroy that abundant life.

Challenge #2    I challenge you to memorize John 10:10 today.  Write it down on post-its and put them around the house in places that catch your eye.  Be sure to put one of those post-its on your computer.  When you are tempted to quickly check Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, say this verse to yourself and imagine what God wants for you.  

Have a great, abundant day!

Monday Praises: Renewal

13 Jan

After the ups-and-downs of the Holiday season, I want to praise God today for blessing me with this season of renewal. Roman 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” While the holidays are a wonderful time, they are also busy and distracting, and I get a bit off-track!

I am thankful today for….

Early mornings spent with the Madster...

Early mornings spent with the Madster…

 

and time to spend with God before the day begins.  It means so much to me.

…and time to spend with God before the day begins. It means so much to me.

Have a great day!

Be sure to check out my friend Amy at Walk Humble With God for more Monday Praises!

Monday Praises-God Keeps His Promises

2 Dec

I will admit, this Monday got away from me!  It’s hard sending Jason off to work after a little vacation, and Maddie is sick, and I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I even think about Christmas play practice last night, and my grandma isn’t doing very well, and, well…blah. I could give a long list of complaints about today.

I have been sitting here looking through YouTube, hoping for some inspiration for this post, and I happened upon this:

Isn’t it wonderful?  Whitney Houston was so talented, and I have always loved this version of Do You Hear What I Hear. I have been listening to it over and over.  Jason is trying to watch a football game and he probably thinks I’m crazy, but i just love it.

I want to praise God now for always keeping His promises, but most importantly His promise for a Savior…a way out.  I have some petty little problems, but God is bigger and Jesus is bigger than any Monday.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:9-14

Monday Praises-God’s Provision

18 Nov

Isn’t it easy to rely on ourselves and forget who is really in control?  I spend a lot of time worrying about things that I have no business worrying about, and in fact I am sinning against God because I am putting my trust in myself or another person instead of putting my trust in the Lord.

I was reminded of this last night when I was at my church packing shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.  This was our second night of packing, and we had restocked with plenty of soap and washcloths and toothbrushes and toothpaste, but it looked like we were running out of little toys to put in the boxes.  I looked at the mounds of hygiene items we had remaining, and the stacks of empty boxes behind me, and I started to panic. What are we going to do? I thought.  I immediately started to form a plan in my head.  One of use can go to the Dollar Store and buy a bunch of toys.  We can just stay late to get it done.  

As I was just about to voice my concerns and my solution to my church family (love them, by the way) in walked another woman from our church and her daughter with huge bags of socks, toys, etc.  I immediately saw what God had done.  Wow, that was humbling.  There I was, spending my energy trying to solve a problem, and God already had it solved.  He was at work the entire time (through someone else, might I add-another humbling thought).

We ended up with over 100 boxes!

I want to thank God today for always providing what we need, especially when we are doing His work.  He knows what I need, when I need it.  He is so awesome.
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Be sure to check out Walk Humbly With God for more Monday Praises!

30 Days

12 Nov

A big thanks to my mom, Charlotte Holt, for writing today’s post on thankfulness!

 

Every year several of my friends take the month of November to post things they are thankful for. This was going to be my first year to try it.

I made lists of things I am thankful for. I kept notes on my cell phone (one of the things I’m thankful for), notes on paper, random words that I would write on my checkbook so I wouldn’t forget when I wrote my posts.

It’s easy to think of things I’m thankful for. I struggled with putting it in a post on Facebook. If I put one thing ahead of the other thing, did that mean it was more important to me? I knew it wasn’t, but would the rest of my Facebook world? Did it matter?

This month I have found myself in a state of gratitude. I will be thinking of things I am thankful for and suddenly I am praying, thanking God for my blessings, asking Him to bless others. I have also found that when I am in a state of gratitude, I am happier. It follows me throughout the day.

I realize this is the way God wants us to be. It brings peace to my life.

Colossians 3:15 (NAS) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

My intention for this writing was to list the things I am thankful for. I think, though, I will keep these things between me and God. But I want you to know, if you are reading this, I probably have or probably will thank God for you sometime during this 30 days of November.

 

Busy-ness and Rest

11 Nov

I was talking to Casey on the phone today about how this week really snuck up on me.  We had a pretty lazy week last week, and I will be honest-I took a lot of naps! It was great, but a little boring, especially now that the time has changed and the days are so short.

Casey and I were supposed to get together one night this week for dinner, but it just isn’t happening.  I realized yesterday that we are having people over several days this week.  Not that I don’t love having friends over, but I may have over-scheduled us this week!  Add in Bible Study on Tuesday, a meeting at church on Wednesday, Story Time on Thursday, 2 wreath orders, a last-minute magazine article assignment, and the novel I am trying to write for NaNoWriMo, and I am a busy person.

So busy that I forgot until just a few minutes ago that I haven’t yet written my Monday Praises blog post.  Whaaaattttt? It is my favorite post to write all week!  How could I forget?

I had to think, What can I praise God for tonight? The answer popped right into my head: REST.

I am so thankful that I have plenty to do, and that I feel like doing it.  I am so thankful for good friends for me and my children and for a nice place for them to come to and for food to feed them.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”  Colossians 3:23

I am also thankful that I can get into a nice warm bed at night and sit here with my laptop to type this up.  Even God rested, after all.

Genesis 2: 2-3 “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

And I am thankful for not only physical rest, but for rest for my soul and heart and mind.  God has given me such peace in my life, even in the midst of the turmoil that is life.

Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

 

 

Monday Praises-God’s Creativity

4 Nov

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

In my Sunday School class yesterday we were talking about suffering on Earth, and how even creation is suffering and groaning and struggling.  Creation was cursed when man was, so can you imagine what it will be like when it is no longer restrained and can really show itself in all its glory?  It is going to be AMAZING!

I love nature.  I praise God for his creativity and his vision and his workmanship, and I cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be to see His creations when they are not being restrained by the sins of man.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

 

Make sure you check out Walk Humbly With God for some more reasons to praise God today!

Monday Praises

28 Oct

Having this link-up today (thank you Walk Humbly With God) really made my day SO much better!  Even early haircuts and flu shots with a cranky 2-year old who didn’t sleep last night don’t seem so bad when you are searching for ways to praise God!

He is at work all around us, and sometimes we don’t see that if we don’t look.

Anyway, I am thanking God today for my church.  We are a little church in the midst of big change, and I can see that God has BIG plans for us!

We had trunk-or-treat last night, and we estimated that 150 people showed up!  For my little church in my little town, that is a huge amount of people.  We weren’t quite prepared for that, but of course God was, and it all worked out.

Some of the kids dressed up after trunk-or-treating.

Some of the kids dressed up after trunk-or-treating.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.    Hebrews 10:24-25

I love my church family so much, and I praise God for his all-knowingness in putting me here, just where I belong!

Have a great week, everyone!