Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years "Should Have Already Been Doings"

Last year I posted my Twelve Goals for 2012.  Frankly, I remember what none of them are so that hasn't proven to be a very effective strategy for me.  Here are the five things that I am purposing for 2013 but subject to change with more time to think on it.

1. I Purpose To Do What Should Be Done Now
What do I mean?  I mean that when I see something that needs to be put away, I will do it now.  When I see behavior that needs to be addressed, I will do it now.  When I see a way that I am called and able to serve/give/bless, I will do it now.  I will not continue to put things off, allowing them to build up until they become impossible to handle.

2. I Purpose To Make The Lord My Number One Priority
In re-reading George Mueller's Autobiography I am once again struck by the fact that I may talk a great talk about faith but I need to make sure my life reflects it and that MUST start by being purposefully soaked in the Bible and prayer.  I struggle with this friends.  I have such a hard time being still sometimes but He will mold me!

3. I Purpose To Make My Husband My Number Two Priority
It is so easy to get caught up in the kids, work, life, friends, commitments that I forget how vital it is that I serve my husband first and completely.  It is my goal to serve him with a completely willing spirit, rejoicing in what I have been entrusted with.

4. I Purpose To Plan and Not React
I spend entirely too much of my time in "crunch time" which could sometimes be avoided by planning better.  I'm not sure how this is going to look just yet, but I want to plan and not react.

5. I Purpose To Practice Hospitality
This one will have to come under my husband's blessing (although he is usually quite supportive of these types of endeavors).  I want to love on people around me.  I am blessed beyond belief and if I can make dinner for another mom or watch kids for awhile or have girls over to play games - I want to be purposeful about practicing hospitality.

These are my five things.  Hold me to them ok?

And while I'm at it, my goals for 2012 revisited...

1. Frugality - I managed to cut our household spending and was able to give away out of our excess.  I'd say success.

2. Schedule - Ha ha. Ha.

3. Prioritize - I think God may be working on this in me until the end of time.

4. Repurpose before Purchase - Much better!  We are also in purge mindset!

5. Hospitality - Better, not great.

6. Fellowship - Better, not great.

7. Memorization - Needs improvement.

8. Don't lose me. - I was telling my husband about a God sized victory the other day and I was excited to see what things were bringing me joy.  Still have work to do, but I liked that.

9. Journal - I need to write more.

10. Disciple - I am so thankful for the people God has put in my life this year!  I hope I have blessed them as much as they have blessed me!

11. Treat My Body Well - Lost 16lbs so that's a win.  Need to get off the Christmas cookie diet and back to good foods.

12. Be Purposeful - Obviously an issue still, see above.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #84

So much to be thankful for!

1. I am thankful that my kids are just as excited the day after Christmas as they are Christmas morning.  Oh the things I can learn from them.

2. I am thankful that my little girl LOVES to be a Princess.  I hope she maintains that mindset through her life (in all the good Princess ways!)

This will NOT let me upload it facing the right direction. 
I think it's worth turning your head.  Note the heels.

3. I am thankful for time with my husband, family and friends over this Christmas break.
4. I am thankful for some downtime away from Facebook and other media during the break.
5. I am thankful for playtime in the snow!

6. I am thankful for my new camera and USING it!

7. I am thankful for my husband being awesome and taking care of sick kiddos.

8. I am thankful for my family and friends who I know are always there for me.

9. I am thankful for time (hopefully!) tomorrow with Miss Morgan!

10. I am thankful for sleeping which is scheduled in 26 minutes.  So tired.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Christmas Blahs (Not Me!)

It seems like every year after Christmas I'd get just a little blah.  I think mainly because all the preparation and anticipation were over and it just seemed like - great, back to normal.  This year though I love that my kids are just as excited today as they were yesterday.  They are just as ready to go when there is a pile of presents and when there isn't.  I think this year my steady is a result of them.

This year I'm excited about a lot of things.  I feel like personally I have a lot of "resolutions" I want to make for 2013 although I'm going to call them "things I should have been doing anyway" and I'm going to go ahead and start now if that's ok with y'all.  I am also excited about family things and plans for 2013 and am just excited to see what the year will hold for us.

Some of my goals although I'll add more meat to it later are...
- To get out my awesome new camera and take pictures.  Lots of pictures!
- To do things NOW instead of later.
- To spend five minutes every morning figuring out and prioritizing what needs to get done that day.
- Focusing on what is important.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Christmas Time Is Here!

Y'all understand that my lack of blogging has been Christmas induced right?  :)  As if I have a stellar history of blogging on a regular basis.  Typically around Christmas time I have a list of who I'm buying for and what I want to buy.  This year I had a list of who but had a REALLY hard time with the 'whats'.  Becki (my sister) and I decided that Aaron and I would not exchange gifts with her and her husband which was nice.  I think we both struggle with what gift to get each other and we both agreed to get our parents something extra instead.  Good compromise...except they are also difficult to buy for :) 

Aaron was my hardest challenge and come Wednesday I'll share with you what I ended up with.  I can now honestly say that I am pretty pumped about almost all of the gifts I have (there is one person who I still would like to get something else for, I just have no idea what) and I can't wait to see them get opened!

The girls went with Daddy to get ornaments today.  I will add pictures when I'm not feeling so lazy but there is one on my Instagram site!  I love this tradition although I wish I could be involved.  I think it is an amazing thing for the girlies to go out and make memories with their Daddy though so I will be content just hearing about it.  Grace picked out a Princess (of course) and she told me Daddy help Abi pick one out with owls hooooooooooooooooooooooo.  They are both super cute.

Tomorrow we are going to my Grandparents' house in Indiana (just me and the girls) for the day and then Monday starts that madness in Dayton.  I love Christmas. 

I did decide that next year if anyone doesn't have a present by the 15th they're outta luck.  This last minute nonsense is not fun!  (Oh, AND my kiddos got complemented by a lady at the checkout at KMart for their awesome behavior while waiting in line.  SO PLEASED!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thankful Thursdays...err Mondays...Top Ten #83

Let's just say Thursday wasn't a good day for me.  I emailed my friend who is stationed far far away and at the top said please read this email in your best whiny voice which seemed like a terrible thing to do since again, she is stationed far far away but it really was that not fun of a day.  She was able to call me a couple days later and I am quite thankful!

I feel like there has been a lot of tragedy lately, from the Connecticut shooting to people in my personal life who are just struggling and hurting.  I feel like this is such an amazing time of the year for most, but for them I think sometimes it can feel like salt in a wound.  The radio today said to grieve with those who are grieving - to really feel their pain before we go throwing Bible verses at them.  I liked that.

My thankfuls through it all...

1. I am thankful when the Lord is glorified.

2. I am thankful for a relationship I have been able to build with an awesome young lady.  What a privilege to get to speak into her life. 

3. I am thankful for a family that does not compete with each other at Christmastime.

4. I am thankful that my kid loves to sing to my Grandparents (her Great Grandparents) on the phone. 

5. I am thankful that my husband is such a good Dad and takes good care of the girls.

6. I am thankful for the calm that comes with trusting the Lord.

7. I am thankful for my little girl's excitement.  I LOVED watching her abracadabra everything in the house today with her magic wand.  She did disappear me a couple times, trying to not read too much into that ;)

8. I am thankful for nail polish.  Keeps me from biting my nails and a simple way to feel more feminine.

9. I am thankful for friends who encourage me.  I seriously couldn't do this life thing without them.

10. I am thankful for seeing first hand a young lady who was blessed by a local church (and this was not ours, something completely unconnected) and how blown away she was by their love.  Praise God that there are churches that rally around people - I love it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on waiting.

I feel like lately there have been so many instances of waiting in my life that I'd be silly not to at least take a moment to ponder them.  This of course leads to thinking about the memorable periods of waiting that I've had in the past...

...waiting for the right guy to come along.
...waiting for the right guy to realize I was the right girl ;)
...waiting TWO YEARS to kiss him.
...waiting for an engagement ring.
...waiting for a positive after a miscarriage.
...waiting to figure out what my particular calling was for a particular season of my life.
...waiting to see any sort of result from time spent investing.
...waiting for delivery of Miss Grace...five days longer than my 'due date'.
...waiting for delivery of Miss Abi...13 days longer than my 'due date'.

I think that the more I wait the more I learn.  It is in those periods of quiet anticipation that I think God speaks most clearly.  Now I am more equipped to tell those who are waiting about the joy on the other side and how much more joy if the waiting can be done 'right'. 

I remember the desperate desire of my 16 year old heart to feel like I was being noticed by guys.  I also remember the complete let down that came when I went out on my first real date.  (For someone that has only gone on 5 dates prior to dating my husband I've got some good stories!) 

I remember sitting in Mexico on a mission trip telling someone about how amazing it was that my first kiss wouldn't happen until I was engaged and why and how incredible that felt.  Not knowing that my soon to be fiance was talking to my dad about the same thing, on the same day.  (4th of July, pretty memorable)

I remember being so angry with God after losing our first baby and the frustration that came out of it.  But I remember time and again that God is able to work all things for His good, even when the things themselves tear us apart.  Right about the time my emotions got all back together we found out about Miss Grace and now even her name is a reminder of how good our God is.

God is so good and provides so much.  I wonder how many times I've missed those blessings because I didn't wait and rushed into my own way and my own timing.  I could have probably found a guy to marry me if I had really tried - and it certainly wouldn't have taken two years to give away my first kiss.  I know I could have whined the entire time I dated Aaron about how much terrible it was to not know his timing and to pressure him into telling me - but I would have missed the beautiful day that was our engagement day.

We are refined by waiting.  Like it or not the times of quiet uncertainty are usually the times we do the most search and where we'll find the most answers.

And God always has an answer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #82

I meant to write this last night.  Seriously :)  I even had a mental list of my ten things going.  Then I stayed out waaaay too late after waking up waaaay too early so it didn't get done.  My sincere apologies.

Here we go...

1. I am thankful for the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert I got to attend last night with my dad, cousins and one of their friends.

2. I am thankful for moments that reaffirm where and why.

3. I am thankful for obedience even when the result wasn't what I expected.

4. I am thankful for Christmas tree set up with the family, shopping and secrets and fun.

5. I am thankful for yarn nativity scenes that my kids can play with and learn from.

6. I am thankful for Disney Live!  We had fun with Miss Grace!

7. I am thankful for taking a walk and actually using a sling.

8. I am thankful for hand print ornaments.  I love setting up my Christmas tree and looking through these, the ones the girls buy with Daddy and all the ones from trips.  I love traditions.

9. I am thankful for tents and playing!
  (Candra, that is a blanket over the baby gate/fence thing you left behind!)
10. I am thankful for quiet, unrushed time with the girls this week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blessed Beyond...

Handprint Ornaments - I love traditions!!!
Grace on Left, Abi on Right

I. Love. Christmas.  It's true, Aaron made fun of me last year and ended every conversation with "We know, you love Christmas"...even when it was not at all related.  Love it.  But every year I'm struck with this weird guilt when I try to buy presents but don't have "just the thing" in mind or when I write my Christmas list.  Sure, I wish I had an amazing camera and I would LOVE to redecorate the house, but needs?  That'd be a short list.  I know it isn't necessarily a season of filling needs, but I have so much already.  Seriously.

The other thing that I thought was funny was my clothing on Monday and really, almost every day.  I believe a delightful combination of hating shopping and God working things out really makes this happen a lot, but my outfit Monday consisted of jeans my sister had bought me for Christmas a couple years ago, a shirt and sweater a friend had given to me in a bag to take to the thrift store after I took out anything I wanted, socks that were in my Christmas stocking and jewelry that had been gifts from family and friends.  I want for nothing.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (Matthew 6:28)

I bought a Christmas present today using a gift certificate that was 6, yes SIX years old.  I have been doing as much Christmas shopping as I can using gift certificates, "free" money and other avenues and I was stoked to find what I wanted at the best price at this store AND have almost half of it taken care of for me.  Delighted.  I do believe that God provides so much more than I could ever need.

And finally, I was sorting out the girls toys tonight. You know, all the toys they had to have?  We ended up getting the right pieces together and putting most of them away.  They each got two babies and have a set of blocks, a baby stroller and a stacker game to share.  That's it.  The rest is out of sight.  And you know what, they had more fun with those items then when they empty everything onto the floor.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  (Matthew 7:11)

We have so much.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mondays. Gotta love them.

I feel like lately God has been talking to me.  And not in that sweet "Good work, keep it up" kind of way but in that "things are about to get real" kind of way.  I have this vision in my head of what things should look like and how they should be.  Why doesn't that ever translate to real life?  I think God has been very clear that I need to put down my expectations and pick up His.  Through some very 'random' and unconnected events I feel like I have gotten some reminders of why I am where I am in this life.

That being said, there are things that I need to do to make it better.  I need to make it through the day without losing my patience.  And I need to get rid of distractions that keep me from all I should be doing.  I need to stop focusing on the material and focus on the heart.  I need to be willing to say GO FOR IT instead of being cautious.  I need to step out in faith instead of waiting for faith to come to me.

That being said, did ya'll know I am on a mission?  Seriously.  My heart breaks for kids who do not feel love and most of the time we think of orphans and my heart seriously breaks for them, but my mission field right now is teenagers.  In Ohio.  And you know what, I need to love them with all I've got!  I am so pumped to work with this amazing group of young women on Monday nights.  All from different backgrounds, some loved completely, others still sorting it out.  They are amazing.  They make my heart beat. 

I wish I could always remember my focus and my passion.  I wish my heart wasn't so easily distracted and swayed.  But friends, let me tell you, I adore them.  These are the girls that are forever a part of my family because I MEAN it when I tell them...

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
(1 Thessalonians 2:8)

And that can get messy and hard and complicated, but so worth it.