Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Goals Recap

August is quickly ending and summer is almost gone again! Summer transitions to fall sometime during September for me. I don't care what the calendar says. 

So how did those goals go?

Well...I didn't meet any of them.

What??? But it's ok. I did WAY more on all of them than I would have without the goals. And really, that's the point. 

photo courtesy of photostock/

1. Drink 1 Dr. Pepper a week (16 oz.). I realized I had a problem with this several weeks in when I found out a can had 12 ounces, not 8. Oops! There were a few weeks when I had decidedly more than 16 ounces but no where near the amount I would have consumed if I weren't paying attention!

2. Finish my second music technique book. I either underestimated the time it would take to learn these songs well or overestimated the time I would have to practice. However, I am halfway through the book and working through it much faster than I did the first one. 

Oh, and I'm also working steadily through my scales book and even my music theory book! Learning is so fun and I'm really enjoying the work. 

3. Stay under my allotted grocery budget. I hit this over 75% of the time. Go, me! 

My perfectionist past rejects this but I consider my summer goals a success. I worked significantly harder and achieved more than I would have without them. And that's really what I wanted: a little more motivation. 

Now to figure out my fall goals. I know one of them will be to finish the other half of that music technique book.  The others are currently undecided. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jesus' Words and My Life

Last year our Pastor challenged us to read through the Gospels over and over while we were studying discipleship. We're finished studying discipleship but I'm still cycling through them because what's better than studying what Jesus did? 

I've been searching lately to add to and remove from my words. I want my speech to bring honor and glory to God (Pro. 31:26) and speech can be such a powerful weapon for good or bad. 

So when I found four references in one chapter of Luke on what kinds of words Jesus spoke I sat up (figuratively speaking) and paid attention. 

photo courtesy of master isolated images/

1. Jesus spoke gracious words.  Luke 4:22 (Gracious is one of my "code" words for God's lady so I was really excited to see this describing the words that Jesus spoke.) Gracious= favorable, kind, excellent

I should be gracious to my children when I talk to them. Even instruction and correction can be (and should be) given graciously. I should be gracious to my husband. Why do we so often forget that these "rules" apply to those we love the most? I should be gracious to everyone who comes into contact with me whether at the grocery store, the doctor's office or the library. 

Are my words really excellent? Do I use a lot of slang? Am I sloppy and careless in what I say about others? Do I say mean things to be funny? 

How would others characterize my speech? What about when people are irritating me or my children are misbehaving or I'm tired? My speech should be gracious in each occasion. 

2. Jesus spoke powerful words. Luke 4:32 I need the Holy Spirit's power in my words. I can speak words of life to my children as we go throughout our day and as I correct them but only God can use those words to move their hearts. When I give out the Gospel my words are only powerful through the filling of the Holy Spirit.  Only God can show Himself through simple language. God can use words of encouragement in a powerful way in someone's life but only He can do that! 

Do I pray about my speech? Do I ask God to use my voice to speak for Him? God chose to use human voices to tell others about Him and I *think* He's willing to help us. 

3. Jesus spoke rebuking words.  Luke 4:35 The only people under my circle of judgement are my children. I rarely rebuke anyone else (with some exceptions like kids at church if I'm the adult around; if I were in charge of something, etc, etc.). But it is essential that some of my words are rebuking words. My children are sinners. My words should reveal their sin to them and point them to God. I must confront them with God's truth.  

Am I consistently confronting my children with their sin? Not just to change their own behavior but to show them that they need Jesus? If I don't rebuke the sin in their lives then they will think it's ok. Rebuke is essential in their shaping. 

4. Jesus spoke preaching words. Luke 4:44 No, I'm not a preacher. But what about proclaiming the truth? That's what preaching does, right? I am to proclaim the truth to my children. I need to teach them what the Bible says and how it applies to them. I am to proclaim truth to my husband. We discuss life. He asks my opinion. My words influence him. I want them to proclaim truth. 

Do I carelessly comment on other people's methods, my children, or parts of my life in ways that make God look bad? If my opinion or what I'm saying doesn't match up with the Bible, then I shouldn't be saying it! What about when I whine about how hard I work? Am I proclaiming the truth that children are a blessing and His grace is sufficient? No, I am saying that God's ways don't work.

Jesus really is our example. I'm seeing that over and over and over as I reread the Gospels. His life is a motivating- and challenging- example to follow. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mornings: Refocus

I used to think my problem was only that I wasn't a morning person. I would love to get up about ten in the morning and not go to bed until around two. There are very few careers that actually works with and homemaking/mothering is certainly not one of them. (Unless, of course, you don't teach your children to go to bed or you let them run around on their own for hours, but I digress.) Regardless of how focused I am on my priorities at the end of the day I lose it during the night. My first mornings thoughts aren't God's plan for my life or how I can best honor Him. 

photo courtesy of stuart miles/

The real problem is that I'm a sinner. My flesh is inclined to do what it wants to instead of what God wants. The most important thing for me to do each morning is to lose myself in Jesus. 

That's why my first morning point is "Refocus." Focus (again!) on what God says about life. I need remind myself of God's plan.  I have to fight my flesh every day. You do too.  None of us are exempt from the pull of the flesh and I have to fight it first thing before it takes a deep hold on my day. 

Now if I were to wake up and immediately start reading most days I would immediately be sleeping again. That would defeat the purpose. So I go fix my hair and put on some makeup first. That gives me enough time to wake up and even pray some. Then I come back to my Bible. 

I need to soak in God's will for me. Learn more about Him. Learn more about who He wants me to be. 

I want to have a real relationship with God, therefore I need to spend time with Him. I've been working on talking to Jesus constantly through my day but I need this concentrated time in the morning where I can absorb His Word and not be distracted by the commotion of life. 

Refocusing Helps

1. Have a reading plan. Doesn't matter what it is; just have one. Go through the whole Bible; we need to be learning it all. Don't just flip it open and read anywhere for your everyday Bible reading. 

You've all heard the old joke about  a man who was searching for God's will for his life. So he decided to use the proven method of flipping open his Bible and putting his finger on a phrase or verse. 
The first one he found was Matt. 27:5" And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself."
He didn't like that answer so he tried again and got "Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do thou likewise." (Luke 10:37b) 
He decided to give it one more try and found, "Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly." (John 13:27b) 
God's will in black and white, people! 
Ok, I won't tell jokes in my posts anymore. But I think you get the point.

2. Ask God to speak to your heart. Reading words isn't enough. The Bible is a book beyond our understanding and  yet God can reveal the truth at each person's level. 

Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.  Psalm 119:27

I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. Psalm 119:125

3. Know the "Why." I'm coming back to this over and over in life. Why am I getting up early(ish)? Why am I disciplining my children? Why am I reading my Bible? 

-Write down why it's important for you to read your Bible every day. 
-Keep a list of things you are learning. 
-Memorize Scripture about the benefits of being in the Bible. (See Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2-3 for starters.)

4. Just do it. Don't wait for it to be easy or comfortable. Don't wait until you "have time." Step out in obedience and watch God work in your life. 

Before I face my day and it's challenges, I need to be filled up with Jesus and that means emptied of me. So the first thing I do in the morning is refocus.  I need to see Jesus and line myself up with His Word. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favorites

"A pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed over." Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for that concise and piercing explanation of time management. I've been working on that lately and that phrase will stick in my head! 

Funniest boy in the world! 

That's seriously gross!

Rearranged "the office." It's much nicer. I'm planning some more decorating for that corner. 

Baby Kevin is a stasher. If he can put something away, he does. (At what point do I have to stop calling him 'baby Kevin'?)

Seriously, he puts things away. 

He puts everything away. Even wet dirty dishrags in the bottom drawer of the bathroom or houseshoes in the diaper pail...

Playing in the water! Everything was soaked :) 

It's hard to stretch in this chair! 

Love this! 

We were racing down the road! 

We crawled all over that playset! 

Micah got in on the action. 

There were several pictures before this one. Everyone was smiling. Then Micah poked Kevin in the face. Then Kevin was hiding and then he gave Micah this face. And Micah's enthusiastically waving a whisk almost in Justin's face. ha! 

Love this! 

Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Working Dreams

For a dream cometh through a multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.  Ecclesiastes 5:3
Daydreaming is so fun! Daydreams can encourage, uplift, and entertain. You can do anything well in a daydream. (See, that's the good side of that overactive imagination!) But daydreams don't really DO anything. They don't change your schedule. They don't put words on a page. They don't put in practice time on your instrument. They don't read the books. They don't try new cooking techniques. They don't master any skills. 

Most of us stop at the daydreaming. We don't go on to actually do what it will take to get us where we would like to be.  There are several reasons why we stop at daydreaming. 

Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do.
Image via pinterest

1. Change is uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable. You will mess up. You might fail. You might embarrass yourself. I would rather have temporary periods of mistakes than get to the end of my life and realize I could have done more. Realize that I wanted to do more but I took myself too seriously. 

2. Change is hard work. It's easiest to not do anything. Not memorize the Bible. Not practice the piano. Not write the blog post.  Mastering a new skill is much harder than just daydreaming about it. You'll have to practice and try again. Try again and practice some more. Get frustrated and keep on trying. It's much easier to watch tv or only do what you are good at. 

3. Change is intimidating. No matter how good you get someone else is always better. Don't compare yourself to other people. Be the best God would have you to be. Let Him sort out how He wants to use you. 

4. Change brings criticism. People who are doing something- anything- are always criticized. Usually by people who are doing nothing. Even the "best" in a field receives criticism. Find what God wants you to do and do it to please Him. If pleasing God is your motivation it will be easier to ignore what others think. 

The journey toward achieving a goal starts with baby steps. One page of music theory a day. Ten minutes of writing here. Three miles run in the morning. One new meal a week. Twenty  minutes taking pictures during naptime.  Consistent sprinting work is more productive than occasional marathons. Find what time you can. Work as hard as you can. Then stop and do the next thing. Maybe it doesn't seem much different today than yesterday, but give it a year. You'll make serious headway with 30 minutes a day for 365 days. 

That's 182.5 hours a year in just thirty minutes a day. 

That's four and a half 40 hour weeks. 

Over a month of working a full-time job toward your dream. 

Look at your end goal. I don't always feel like reading and playing and instructing my children. But I know what I want them to remember about living here, growing here. So I pray and do my part.  I don't always feel like putting in my music theory and technique work during quiet time, but I know what I want to achieve in the next month, the next year. 

The goal in life is not to do as little as possible. (Don't take a poll about that in Wal-Mart.) God wants us to work hard at whatever He gives us to do.  So sure, daydream. Figure out what your end goals are. But then...

Get to work. 

"A year from now you'll wish you had started today." 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let's Talk About Mornings!

I think we're going to talk about mornings for a few weeks. 

I know. I know. Me? Talk about mornings? I've lost my mind. 

But now seriously...who do you want to talk about mornings? One of those annoying people who love mornings and pop out of bed like they don't want to pull the covers over their head and go back to sleep? I didn't think so. 

photo courtesy of dan/

I have a love/hate relationship with mornings. I hate getting up. I hate being up early. It's not my best time of day. But I love getting a few things done before the boys are up and I love knowing that I've already gotten a head start on my work. And mornings are beautiful. I think that's why God made them that way: to help ease the transition to a new day. Even though I don't like mornings I am slowly implementing some methods to help me use them efficiently.

(And by efficiently I don't mean that I get up at 5. Kudos to people that do. But we don't go to bed early enough to get up at 5. And that just sounds miserable. Although I have had seasons in life where I have gotten up at that time I rejoice that I don't have to now!) 

Not all of these ideas work for every season. Pregnancy stage= sleep as much as possible but still get up to read my Bible. New baby stage= read at night when I'm up with the baby; sleep as much as possible. There are plenty of other examples as well. You have to adjust to what is going on in life at the moment. Life is constantly changing. 

But I'm not in any of those stages right now so I've honed my strategies a little. So far I have four topics to discuss. I may develop more or I might combine two of them. I'm not sure yet. 

1. Refocus
2. Game Plan
3. Jump Start
4. Benefits

Your rhythm will look different. Maybe you will exercise in the morning. I don't. I have before, mostly before having children. Maybe you will have breakfast with your husband. My husband doesn't eat breakfast. (Just for the note: I LOVE breakfast. I wake up hungry.) The time I get up changes every few months with the boys wake-up time and other details of life. It's the flow that I'm after. It's nice to be able to alter the rhythm to fit life as it is. A great plan only works if you can implement it. 

Flexibility is the name of the game, especially with motherhood. That's why I prefer the word "rhythm" to "schedule." Some days I get my whole morning rhythm done before my boys are awake. Sometimes I pull the boys into what I'm doing and carry on. Other times I throw it all to the wind and read books on the bean bag. 

I can always think of many more things I wish I had gotten done. I have to be able to say, "That's ok. We'll get to it later." I can't get hung up on expectations; that will cripple my ability to continue through my day.  The quote "Only God gets His to-do list done" really helps me in that area. This has been a learned skill that does not come naturally. Some people will have to push themselves to do anything instead of relaxing because they didn't do it all. We have different personalities that we are surrendering to God. 

One last thought. It's not that you do what I do. It's that you do what works for you and helps you fulfill your God-given roles. 

Are you a morning person? If not, can you tweak your mornings to help them work for you? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites: Home

Last week I had a morning appointment. I woke Kevin up and fed him and snuck in a few snuggles. Then I woke Micah up, changed his clothes, and walked out the door with his breakfast in hand. Thankfully this is not our typical morning.

I hear moms saddened by the fact that they drop their children off at daycare every day and pick them up for a few short hours before bedtime. Hours that are so full they seem more like minutes. On facebook I've seen more moms complain about the start of school and how rushed life becomes than ever before. 

And I'm thankful. Not for their situation but because I get to stay home. God has blessed our lives and we have made my being here a priority. (I know all situations are different and everyone can't do that. I'm just so immensely thankful that I can!)

It's so refreshing to be able to spend time with my boys each morning. We can snuggle and laugh and hug and have funny conversations about the strangest things. We intentionally try to keep a very unhurried schedule with them. I read the other day that "love" is spelled "t-i-m-e." I want them to have plenty of my time!  Everyone needs their love tank refilled each day and I can spend time with my boys doing that each morning. 

Justin and I want to raise our own children. I cringe to think of handing my baby over to someone else for 8+ hours a day. Guess who he would be attached to? I'm glad I get to spend the time influencing and teaching and discipling our children. I never wanted someone else to see them crawl first, hear them read first, or experience any of things that I would only hear about. 

Even though I go full-speed almost all day I get to spend that time doing things that are important for my family. I don't have to work at a job and then come home and try to see my family and care for my home and nurture my marriage. That sounds like a mental overload; I would constantly feel guilty. 

Some people believe that staying home is stifling to a woman's intellectual growth. I would definitely challenge that assumption. I have more time to pursue my own interests than I would if I worked a job. (A job where someone else would tell me what to do and how to do it.) If I weren't home I wouldn't be able to carve out small corners of time to work on piano or writing. It's very intentional as it is or it wouldn't happen. Homemaking (and mothering) is such a diverse career. So many options can be explored based on each individual's interests. 

Life can be very flexible to meet the needs of my husband. He can run home for lunch whenever he can get away and we are here. We can take him lunch if we need to.  We can invite a teen girl to spend a day a week with us for the summer and invest in her life. A paycheck cannot make up for these things. 

 I'm so thankful for God's blessing in allowing me to be home. Home for my husband. Home with my babies. Home to grow. There is nothing I want badly enough to compensate for the loss of all these blessings. 

And I don't mean that it's easy. I mean it's worth it. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life-Long Growth

But we humanly represent the Lord Jesus. Are you representing Him in a way that causes girls to want to be ladies- like you?  
Jesus chose to use people. That is special. You can always be what the Lord wants. and as you are challenged and excited about becoming that lady, you will never feel old. Be someone special.  
Whether you are in a rest home or whether you are a young mother with several kids, let God add to your life. You can love women and girls as you have never before loved them. 
These are several quotes by Marlene Evans from one of her speeches to ladies. For several years I've been pursuing the idea of being "God's lady."  And I've found examples in books and real life of what this looks like. I don't write a ton about it because I have so far to go but it's a dream that motivates me to study, to learn, to grow. I don't want to be your average, run-of-the-mill lady. Not even your average Christian lady.

The more I realize the truth- that others look at me and judge Jesus- the more I realize life is a serious business. (And I mean "judge" as exactly that. They are going to look at God's people and, based on what we show, decide if they want anything to do with Him.) It does matter what I do. I can't just say, "It's not hurting anybody but me," and do whatever I want. It matters who I am. 

It's time to be somebody special, different. And then tell people that the difference is Jesus. I'm not anything by myself. But all the people in the Bible were just that- people. Jesus chose to use people and He can change us into what He needs us to be. 

photo courtesy of digidreamgrafix/

My favorite part of the quotes at the top is "let God add to your life." I do a pretty sad job adding to myself. I can't keep it up very long. But if God adds it, it can stick. It can become part of who I am. 

He can transform my attitudes. He can change my tone and my words. He can prioritize my schedule and my work. He can soften all my rough edges. He can transplant His love into my heart so it spills over. He can give me willing hands for the work He's put before me. He can give me the strength I need to stand in tough times. He can give me compassion for the hurting, a burden for the lost. He can instill joy and peace into my heart. 

How does this adding happen? Being in the Bible. Praying. Listening to sermons. Serving. Loving. Working. We're back to the 'learn something new, then work it out' routine. Internal, then external. 

I could try to fix the outside. I have tried to fix the outside before. You know what happens? I put up a pretty front for a while, maybe in front of someone I want to impress. But it's not real. It's not real because it's not what my family gets. And who we are at home is who we really are.  But Jesus can change who I am. I just have to yield myself to Him. 

The best news is that this process will take my whole life. I don't have to attain perfection and then keep it. I can look back over the past few years and see some ways that I have really changed. Nothing major from the outside maybe unless you know what to look for but I know it's there on the inside. 

And I'm changing in some ways now. It's hard. It's a lot of dying to self and begging God for help because I can't do it without Him. It's a lot of apologies when I mess up. It's a lot of getting back up and trying again. At one point I expected a smoother path to growth. When God added I thought it would just "zap" and be there. But that's not how it's worked in my life. As He reveals, I must obey. Every day getting up and reading. Praying. Looking at who He wants me to be. And then living. Obeying. Dying to self and saying yes to Him. 

That's change. That's a lifelong road to being like Jesus. It's today. It's tomorrow. It's every day I wake up. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Worshiping in Obedience

Yesterday in Sunday School our Pastor presented a lesson on King Saul. King Saul was handpicked by God to rule His people and still ended in disgrace. That's what everyone remembers about Saul: his end. That''s what people will remember about me as well. 

Saul's disobedience was his problem. He decided that he knew better than God. I got several thoughts during the lesson. 

1. It is of the utmost importance that I teach my children to obey. Regardless of any excuses. I teach our children to obey so that they understand what God wants of them once they are grown. I am His representative in their lives. I am teaching them to please God when I teach them to obey. 

2. It is of the utmost importance that I obey. Regardless of any excuses. 

But the next one was the big one. 

3. Obedience is worship

Saul disobeyed under the guide of worshiping God (1 Samuel 15). The first time the word "worship" is used it's in talking about Abraham sacrificing Isaac. It's used about obedience, not waving hands in the air or feeling good. 

I think the tendency is to "spiritualize" worship. It's an emotion or an experience instead of an action. We have "worship" services and sing songs about worship. We rarely sing songs about obedience and dying to self. But God wants us to obey more than anything. And obeying normally takes dying to self. 

Do I want to obey more than anything? 
Will I obey when I want to rest? 
Will I obey when I want to please myself? 
Will I  obey when it's not something I like? 
Will I obey when I want to get my own way? 
Will I obey when it's unpopular? 
Will I obey when it makes me uncomfortable? 

"Will I obey?" is the question. Yes, the desire to obey is wonderful but it's not always going to be there. Will I obey regardless of any excuses- including how I feel at that particular moment? My feelings do not have to be in charge of my life. They are a harsh master. 

Today, my work can be worship. I can move in obedience to God through my Monday and Tuesday and my whole week. I don't have to feel bad that I'm changing diapers and cooking lunch instead of sitting in peace "worshiping." In my obedience to the tasks God has given me I am worshiping Him. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Being Different

To be different, I have to do differently. 

It's my desire to be different from the world. I want them to wonder why I'm different (and I don't mean weird just to be weird either). If I am absorbing and living by the Bible I will be different. My attitude will be different. Our marriage will be different. My child-rearing will be different. Our home will be different. You get the idea. It works the other way as well. There are so many ideas that the world offers that are just different to me. 

Here's the problem. I have to actually do things differently to be different. I have to have a different attitude. I have to live by the Bible. In almost all areas I have to do everything differently than the majority of the world does things. 

-I should love and and submit to my husband instead of talking bad about him or treating him like one of the children. 
-I should teach and train my children instead of sitting them in front of the tv or fitting them into my life when it's convenient. (And yes, we do watch some tv.) 
-I should be gracious, not sarcastic or crude. 
-I should be modest and ladylike instead of all the alternatives that are there. 

Here's the bigger problem. I don't like to be different. I don't want to stand out  in what appears weird to others. I don't want people to look at me funny and say, "What's with her?" It's uncomfortable to do things differently because people definitely ask about it. I do believe that's the point however. The Bible tells us to have an answer (1 Pet. 3:15) so I need to think of ways to answer these (often rude) questions graciously in a way that reflects Christ. 

photo courtesy of artur84/

So what's the solution? I fix my eyes on Christ. I seek to win Christ. I press toward the mark. I forget everything else- often by consciously putting those thoughts aside-and look unto Jesus. (Phil. 3, Heb. 12:2) 

Being different means I don't bow to peer pressure and conform to the world. It means I don't worry about what someone else is doing. It means I don't wonder about what someone else thinks of me. It means I measure my life and how I "do" things by the Bible instead of what's socially acceptable. 

Keep those eyes on Christ! 

And how do you answer questions about your "differences" graciously? 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BBQ Chicken

A couple of weeks ago we had BBQ chicken and I tried a new way of making it. This stove-top to oven technique is one of my favorites for chicken now. It's quick and leaves the chicken juicy. I was skimpy on pictures when I remade it again but it's so easy you don't even really need pictures! 

3 chicken breasts, flattened (size up or down to what you need)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
sliced cheese (if you so desire)
Hawaiian sweet rolls

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Sprinkle seasonings liberally over both sides of chicken. Place in hot pan with a little oil and sear that side.  Flip and let cook for three minutes. Then place pan in oven. That bottom side will get a nice crust on it in the hot pan. 

See that nice crust? 

Cook in oven for twenty minutes, then pour BBQ sauce on top and cook for five more minutes. 
Remove chicken from pan and then shred into large chunks. Return to pan and cover with sauce. Place in oven until sauce is hot. 

Place cheese (if desired) and chicken on a Hawaiian roll. 
Repeat until all the chicken is gone.
Make more chicken. 

Just kidding on the last two. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

What's Real and What's Ideal

I tend to get these pictures in my head of what I want life to look like. Right now my big one has been that I want to drink something hot out of a mug while I read my Bible in the morning. 
Now since I don't drink coffee or tea this seems like a stretch. Maybe hot chocolate? 
photo courtesy of carlos porto/

And I would prefer to do this hot-drink-in-a-mug-drinking and Bible reading on my back porch while watching the sun rise.
I hate mornings. Did I mention that? Although I do wake up consistently early enough to see them. 
Let's not forget that my back porch has no furniture besides an old kitchen table and is covered in balls, shoes, and various toys that I try to keep semi-organized.
And have you looked at the price of wicker couches (which is what I would love to have out there)? That'll wake you up. Forget needing a hot, caffeinated drink. 
It's a good thing I'm not waiting to read my Bible until I get my dream scenario perfected. There's a good chance it might not happen for years. And that's a lot of days that I need my time with Jesus.  So what does my Bible reading look like? I've already fixed my hair and makeup (because I hate doing that and the later it gets the worse it seems.....and I like to look pretty before Justin leaves!) and I'm sitting on the bed in semi darkness reading on my iPad and drinking water. (Where changes frequently for me; that's not the important part. Just note it looks nothing like my perfect picture.)

And occasionally I'm also eating some chocolate. We're all for chocolate around here. 

It's good to have ideals to work toward. To have a vision to guide in making decisions and setting priorities. But life is not perfect pictures. Life falls short of our expectations. Life disappoints.  Days run short on hours to do it all. 

So decide what's important. 

It's important that I read my Bible. It doesn't matter where I read my Bible. It doesn't matter what I drink while I read my Bible. The Word is the Word regardless of those extras. 

It's important that I make my husband a priority.  It doesn't matter if our dates are movies and desserts on Friday instead of fancy dinners out right now. 

It's important that I teach and train my children. It doesn't matter if we complete Pinterest-worthy craft projects. (Good thing too- because we don't!)

Are there important things you are waiting to do until they are "perfect"? Don't wait on perfect; it never comes. Grab hold of your values and work them out in your daily life regardless of the extras that you may or may not attain.  On my 80th birthday it will be very obvious that I've spent time in the Bible (1 Timothy 4:15) and I'll be glad about that.

I probably won't even remember that at one time I wanted to read my Bible with my hot drink on a wicker couch on my back porch. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Favorites

Swiss-stuffed bacon burgers with homemade pretzel buns. Yum!! 

Our friend's hammock- too bad Kevin was over it by picture time

Micah eating fries in Justin's truck

Micah wearing Justin's work badge

The best bbq I've ever made. You'll see it later! 

Mickey reading a book

We made a crab headband at Toddler Time

My favorite shirt from when Micah was little! haha

A little boy and a country road