Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not starting over, continuing on

Several years ago I read a book called, "confessions of an organized homemaker."  I really liked it but then I loaned it to my sister who thought the woman who wrote the book was some sort of lunatic.  She was extremely detail oriented.  However, my take away from that book doesn't really deal with how to organize anything but came about as she was explaining how to use a calendar system.

She was talking about how she had used all sorts of different systems.  Each time she would get a new system and be convinced that this was the one that was going to work for her and she would stick to it.  All the other systems she had tried just weren't right but this one would be different. YES, YES I thought.  That is me.  Oh I was just giddy with excitement as I read this section.  I could not wait to find out what calendar system she used.  What was the right one that I would use forever.  Then suddenly she was talking about something else.  Wait!  She didn't tell me about the perfect fool proof calendar system.  I had to go back and re-read the section because I totally missed the point the first time.

It wasn't about finding the perfect calendar system.  It was about starting over again every time you failed until finally it clicks, you get in the habit and continue on in the face of day to day routines and boredom or changes and problems.  You just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  You keep getting back up on the horse.  You don't toss out whole idea of the calendar system because YOU failed.  The calendar is still needed, you just haven't developed the discipline to use it.  Keep trying.

Life changing information. 

Of course I must admit I am still not particularly good at scheduling my life but I have developed a system over the years that works pretty well for me.  And I continue to work at it and improve.

I have seen the truth of this practice in my exercise routine.  Once upon a time I was a wanna be exerciser.  I would buy a video and do it for a couple months until I was bored.  I would go on walks regularly for a few weeks until it got cold or I got a cold or it rained one morning and I quit entirely.  But then one day I started running and I liked it.  And I kept doing it.  And when I would forget to run for a couple weeks I didn't give up on the idea all together I just got back out and ran again.  Now several years later I am a regular exercisers.  Even if I go a month without breaking a sweat, which has happened several times over the 6 years I have been running, I don't see it as an end, I just get back out there.

I love advice I can apply to so many areas of my life.  I am sure some of you who know me personally have heard me tell you about this book and revelation.  So here I am telling myself this advice again.  Reminding myself that when you fail, even if it has been months since you were on track, you just go back to it.

I have been feeling sick lately.  I hate feeling sick.  Especially when I know it is self inflicted.  I know certain foods make me feel sick if eaten too often yet apparently I have no sense of restraint.  So here I am totally toxic with foods my body hates.

Last year, really almost 2 years ago, I was on the Endo diet for 3 months.  It was challenging but I must confess I felt great.  Years ago when this whole food connection was made my diet wasn't nearly as restrictive and I also felt great.  I know what I need to do, know what I can and cannot eat.  Yet I don't do it.  Do I like getting sick?

I have all the right answers and can play ball with all the crazy granola friends I have but lately I feel like a fraud. I am embarrassed to tell people we are a dairy free family when we don't even pretend to avoid dairy anymore.  I seem incapable of passing up a plate of french fries or a bowl of ice cream and have the weight gain to prove it.

Having gotten so sick I had to skip church a couple weeks ago, I spent this past week feeling a little hungry as I stopped eating what I knew I shouldn't but didn't have time or energy to go buy what I knew I should.  Yet I feel so much better, more energetic as a hungry but healthily fed person than I did as a full person eating junk.

So just as I have done in running, just as the writer of the book did with her calendar system, I will keep working on developing a food system that works for me, my family and our lifestyle.  It isn't that I have done the wrong diet in the past, it isn't an impossible task before me it is just something that I must keep working at until it becomes a part of my life and when the diet does start to go bad I just get up the next morning and go back to my healthy eating lifestyle because that will be my normal.

One foot in front of the other.  Good bye unhealthy eating habits, hello healthy, happy and energetic life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The lost art of waiting

Is it just me or is waiting a lost art?

I often am telling my teenage son he needs to practice the art of doing nothing. If I ask him to get ready to go but he feels we will not walk out the door the second his coat is on he will go back to whatever he was doing. With facebook and computer games stimulating his senses at every turn he can’t fathom why he would just stand by the door and watch me swirling around the house turning off all the lights, tvs and radios, gathering all the last minute snacks, books or papers we need for wherever we are going.  Me waiting on him would be just fine but he cannot understand why he has to wait on me.

Yesterday as I stood outside our home waiting with my daughter for her bus to come I found myself trying to figure out how to get out of this daily activity. Can I send my 5 year old out to stand at a busy corner by herself? Can I figure out the timing of this bus so that we are walking out the door as it pulls up? What a waste of my precious time to spend 3 minutes each morning standing on the sidewalk waiting for a bus!

And then it hit me how much I was like my son. And what a lost art waiting has become.

Have you ever noticed how much fuller the church seems at the end of the service than it does at the beginning? Or is that just my church? If the service starts at 10am you don’t want to arrive a moment before and have to wait, better to arrive a few minutes late than sit in the pew in silence a few minutes before the service.

Not that waiting has become a thing of the past. Today I waited for the school bus, for my turn at the DMV to transfer a car title and at the post office to mail a package all before 10am. We wait in line at the store, wait on the phone on hold, wait for email responses, test results and more. I try to be patient but the truth is that I often wait impatiently.

But there are a lot of things we don’t wait for anymore. The big one that comes to mind in the current economy is we don’t wait until we have the money to buy something, we charge it. People don’t wait until they are married to have sex anymore. And married people aren’t willing to wait through the process of healing a hurt marriage but instead just end it. We want instantaneous result which we think will bring us happiness. And when it doesn’t we immediately go on to something else assuming it was the thing and not the process that was the problem.

Why can’t waiting be part of the journey of life. Why can’t we enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming event?

The partner to waiting seems to be patience. I cannot begin to count the times I have told my daughter to “be patient”. We are an impatient society, quick to get upset when things don’t go as we planned them.

I have often found myself waiting on God and his plans. Sometimes patiently sometimes not so patiently. Whether I enjoy the process or not God doesn’t seemed to be phased and continues on with his plans.

Life is a journey, a process, a marathon, pick your analogy. It doesn’t happen in a moment it happens over a period of time. And just as I said of marriage I also say of life. It is in the little details over time rather than the big events that life happens.  While waiting for the next thing we experience the growth and joy we are really looking for.

Growth happens as we wait our turn. It can be a time of introspection as I really examine what I want, really listen to what God is telling me and really learn. Waiting is an opportunity to stop and see what is going on around me. See the old woman who needs help unloading her groceries from the cart, enjoying the beautiful weather as I wait for my son to finish work, and value the time I can spend with my daughter each morning standing on the sidewalk.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Ps 27:14

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is the Day the Lord has Made

I was at the funeral of a family friend last year which was quite enjoyable.  The celebration of life kind not that sad he is gone kind.  Anyway, they talked about how he would often say, "this is the day the Lord has made".  At the time I thought how nice it was but also how "old man" it was to say that.  Actually my father-in-law says that on his voice mail.  But let's face it, he is getting to be an old man too so my point remains. 

It has stuck with me thinking what a beautiful way to begin the day.  Acknowledging that each day belongs to the Lord.  Yet the saying, which is actually a quote from Psalm 118: 24 "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.", has become so common that you don't really think about it and what it means.  In fact it sometimes feels like it is so common it has no real meaning.

I started thinking about all the common scriptures which have become so part of our lives that they have begun to loose significance  Or have simply become "children's" scriptures, something we teach our kids but not the place we go to for our own spiritual nourishment.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your path."

Joshua 24:15b "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

And on and on.  I am sure we could all make a pretty big list of common scriptures.  This year as a family we are going to spend some time really studying those verses that are already part of our memory storehouse.  But we are going to go beyond just simply knowing the verses, we are going to find out what they mean and how we can apply them to our daily lives.

As I mentioned previously we started with Matthew 6:33 deciding to make it our family verse for this next year.  Our weekends have kept us busy since that weekend away when we first started this project but last night we managed to have another family time where we studied Prov 3:5-6.

Although Isabelle is just at the stage of memorizing these verses she really wants to be part of our family bible study time.  And although she is a bit of a distraction I want her to feel she can always be part of our family time so this year we are letting her hang out with us.  This particular scripture wasn't in her children's bible but that is OK because I have a little purse sized bible she has claimed as her own which we looked up the verse in.  She can't read but I underlined it for her and she pretended.  She also instigated the rule that whoever is holding the mini volleyball she has can talk.  So we got to toss around a volleyball during the study time.  And we encouraged her when she tried to give us a thought even if it wasn't exactly on topic.  She brought a fun aspect to our time together.

We didn't have a lot of time to really delve into it after Jake got home from work but here are a couple highlights:
  • Acknowledge Him:  This is more than a tip of the hat to God.
  • ALL my heart; ALL my ways:  a total commitment.  God is everywhere, in everything.
  • My own understanding vs God's understanding.  We looked at Is 40:28 "...His understanding no one can fathom".
  • The Promise: "He will make your paths straight"  Which we didn't think meant no obstructions but that he would guide us through.  We liked the word "direct" from other translations better than "straight".
All in all we had a good second family time together and look forward to growing together as a family this year as we grow closer to God.

What is your favorite popular scripture verse?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Do It

Do you ever wander around the house and see so many things you could be doing and yet each one feels so overwhelming, whether it is or not, that you just sit down and watch tv?  Or is that just me?

I had a full weekend of tv watching.  I was seriously lazy this weekend.  If I removed the last 2 days from my life there would be no affect what so ever on my future.  Saturday they played all 3 Back to the Future movies in a row and I watched them all.  I can't even recall the last time I was such a lump.  My wonderful husband, who worked all day Saturday and then joined me on Sunday, assured me that sometimes you just need to be lazy.  I am not totally convinced I needed quite that level of lazy but there it is and I can't take it back so might as well embrace it.

That paragraph was more of a confession than anything really relevant to the point I am planning to make.

So last night I am trying to pull it together because I want to start my Mondays with a picked up house and some sort of plan.  And as I am looking in the pantry to see if there is anything that might make itself for dinner I am noting how desperately it needs to be cleaned and re-organized.  But then I immediately feel totally overwhelmed by that project.  I have so much to do, when could I possibly organize the pantry? 

And then it hit me.  There is only one thing I really need to do, pass out those plow postcards I made last week.  When there is something I need to do that I haven't done, don't really want to do, am putting off or am afraid of doing I become overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks because of the weight of this one thing I am trying to ignore.  I am not actually overwhelmed by everything I am just overwhelmed by ONE thing.  But I let that one thing become everything.  How much easier if I follow Nike's advice and "Just Do It".

So that is what I did this morning.  I passed out 100 postcards in my neighborhood.  You don't realize how many houses are around you until you start passing out postcards.  I barely scratched the surface of the neighborhood with those 100 cards.

Last week I kept making excuses in my mind about the weather and rain even though by the time Isabelle left for school each day the weather was just fine.  Today when I finally get out there it was drizzling the entire time and I was a bit wet when I got home.  But the deed is done.  And it really wasn't a big deal.

There are a couple more neighborhoods where we already have jobs that I need to pass out in but now I know not to be afraid.  I will just do it.  That is my job.  And when it is done I can pray, relax and let God do the job of bringing the clients--while straightening up that pantry.

What tasks are you avoiding today?  Just do it.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Well it has officially been a week since Isabelle started school.  We are sticking to a morning routine that includes both of us being dressed and ready to launch into the day when she gets on the bus.  And I have added making her bed to the morning routine as well.  Might as well try to sneak in one good habit as early as possible.  Her effort has been a little weak thus far:

But I believe neatness can come after a habit is established.  Some might not agree with me but I don't really care.  That is what I am going with.


After a week of working on the morning routine and going to school she finally told me she doesn't want to go anymore.  While I expected to hear that at some point I was really thinking it would be more like 2 or 3 weeks, not 1 week.  None-the-less I sort of feel her pain.

I am feeling the stress of developing a new routine and a new stage of life myself.  Today I didn't want to get out of bed, did not even hear Jake leave or John's alarm go off.  Yesterday I was feeling frustrated by the tasks I was doing and today I am not totally sure what I am going to do with my time.  I know I need to start walking the neighborhood passing out these plow postcards I made up but that feels a little scary to me and I want to run away from it.  Conveniently the rain is giving me a good excuse to not do it.  Plus 2 times this week I got "the look" from the bus driver because I got distracted and she was sitting in front of our house honking for a few minutes before I ran out to get Isabelle.  Yesterday I got a little lecture.  And the school nurse called to tell me Isabelle should not have been allowed to go to school because apparently she is missing 2 immunizations which I wasn't aware of.  Then the nurse told me that my pediatricians office told her I didn't go to the 5 year old well child check up.  Is there no patient confidentiality?!  I don't see why I should pay my doctor to confirm the obvious fact that my child is well.  And I don't see how that is any of the school nurses business.  All the paper work I read told me the nurse would call me BEFORE school if Isabelle needed any shots.  It isn't my fault she is behind and I will not be made to feel guilty because I didn't pay $200 to find out if my child needed shots.  Well apparently I will...

What was I talking about?

Oh yes routine.
So after a honeymoon week of enjoying the new routine and enthusiastically getting up to run before Isabelle got up, making Jake a sandwich before he left for school and reading a short bible story to Isabelle during breakfast, the fun has worn off.  And now the real work begins.  Deciding what we are going to actually put effort into and what we are going to let go of.  And then making the commitment to press on even when I don't FEEL like it because I know it is the right thing to do.

We must press on through this lazy phase, where we are tempted to sleep in, skip a workout, not make the bed or brush the teeth because we are rushed for time.  We must maintain a belief that these things are important and that developing good habits and routines now will serve us throughout the year and through all the years Isabelle will be in school.  It takes 28 days to develop a new habit.  We are 6 school days down, 22 school days to go.

From this point forward it is all about strength and attitude.  And I am going to choose to have a good attitude and ask God to give me the mental and physical strength to continue working to develop these habits knowing that in a few more months they will just be a regular part of our life.  Because the alternative is to have a bad attitude, not follow through yet still have to get Isabelle out the door every morning and watch the bus drive away while wearing my pj's and feeling stressed before a single thing is accomplished.  And that doesn't sound like fun at all.

Philippians 3:12 "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Time

Now that I have exactly 3 hours and 5 minutes each day to myself you might be wondering what I am doing.

As I was anticipating fall coming I spent time looking at all I wanted to accomplish, what my goals were for the fall, the activities I was and wasn't going to commit to and how I would organize each do to make it all happen.  I gave myself permission to say NO both to things I didn't want to do and to things I did want to do but knew I needed to let go.  And I created my usual fall goal list to map it all out.  Then I started looking at my weekly schedule.

At first I thought I would assign each day of the week to one of my commitments.  But as I looked at what needed to be done I could see that right off the bat I needed to spend more than one morning a week starting a plow business and that my women's ministry stuff would be busier in October when I was planning a meeting.  I don't have to have a perfectly balanced schedule where I am doing everything every week or every day but look to see what is happening right now and work on that.

I am spending most of my time this week and probably next on the plow business.  Then I will be busy with women's ministry stuff in October.  And Christmas is coming so I will probably be crafting or shopping in November and December.  And blogging and doing other writing things in with all of that.  It isn't about doing them all at once in some miraculous harmony but about doing one thing at a time.  Always keeping my eyes on the priority of my family but knowing that if at times I let something go it isn't the end of the world.  I will come back to it when I am done with the task before me.

A couple weeks ago I was telling my husband that what I really wanted was a year to just have coffee with friends and organize all the closets in the house.  I hate that we are struggling financially and I feel like I need to help more in his business, possibly even look for a job.  But now as the year has started I am seeing that while each task on my list will keep me busy for a moment I have an entire school year stretching before me and I know that I will be able to not only start a plow business, get my writing published and maybe even get a part time job but I will also tackle those closets and enjoy time with friends.  I don't have to do it all tomorrow.

With a few days under my belt I am really enjoying the time to focus on a project.  I would love to be getting more done but I am excited by all I have gotten done and know I will always have time again tomorrow.  This isn't a one time play date this is my new daily schedule.  And it is a very good thing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

School days

Isabelle started school last week.  I think we both needed it to happen.  We had been talking about and anticipating it for far too long.  And then after everyone else started school we had to wait 2 more days for it to happen.  Finally last Thursday she put on the outfit we spent 30 minutes picking out the night before, packed a snack and bottle of water in the backpack with the school supplies, posed for pictures:

Got tired of posing for pictures,
Hopped in the car and drove over to the school where we found the class lining up at the front door.  Got in line with the class and put on the bus sign she is supposed to wear:

Posed with her class for their very first class picture:

Then lined back up with her class, waved goodbye and followed the teacher into a whole new life.  She was nothing but excited to see what would happen next, to have new experiences and go to school like the big kids she knows. 

I stifled a pathetic sob as I quickly turned to walk back to my car knowing that this was the beginning of a whole new stage of life.  She begins independence from me.  Right now as I type she is doing things I have nothing to do with, I am not there to manage, control, protect, direct.  Part of me is afraid, unsure if she is ready, afraid of who she will meet, how she will be treated and what she will learn.  Part of me is happy, proud of her growth, her independence and excited by the opportunities to make new friends and learn new things.

There are many school choices these days and each comes with their own fears and joys.  But I am certain that for this year Isabelle is exactly where she is supposed to be and so whenever those fears come up I remind myself that God is with her, loves her more than I do and will keep her safe when I cannot.

Just a few hours after I left her at school the bus pulled up:

The doors opened:

We watched it drive away:

And I had a Kindergartner:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Money Saving Tip

Maybe this will be a new regular for me.  Maybe not.  Either way here is my tip for the day:

A couple years ago I read in the book, "The cheapest Family in America", how they buy chubs in the meat section at the grocery store and have the deli slice them up for lunch meat rather than buying the high priced packaged deli meat.  Well I had never heard of a chub of meat before but was glancing through the meat section this week and saw a sign for turkey chubs.  It was 99 cents a pound for a 3 pound chub.  So $3 for 3 pounds of lunch meat, definately sounded good to me.  From what I can tell a chub is basically the stuff they make lunch meat out of.  (Nobody out there is under the impression that lunch meat is real meat are they?)  Since it was frozen I wasn't sure they could slice it at the counter and so brought it home thinking I would figure it out later.  When I opened the packaged it turns out the meat still needed to be baked.  The book talked about ham chubs and ham is usually pre-baked when you buy it but apparently turkey chubs are not.  I popped it in the oven, baked it up and thinly sliced it with my favorite dull knife.  It looks great and tastes delicious.  I can't wait to try it on a sandwich tomorrow.  My one tip is that you need to get the string net thing that was wrapped around it off before the meat cools.  It was a little more difficult when the meat had settled around it.  Maybe everyone else already knows that tip but I have only ever taken those things off hot roasts.  It is all about trial and error in my kitchen.

Have fun looking for chubs at the grocery store this week.  Let me know if you find ham and can get it sliced at the deli counter.  That would be my ideal.  I love thinly shaved ham on a sandwich.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Conqueror of 11th Grade

It is the first day of school in our community.  I can sense the emptiness of the neighborhood.  It is quieter, fewer cars driving by our house, fewer kids walking or biking by, no happy screams of little girls running around the yard.  Of course it is also 59 degrees and there is a gale force wind threatening to blow the house down so it would probably be quiet today anyway but, still, I know, the houses are all empty around me. 

(I will not discuss the fact that I am wearing jeans, a long sleeved shirt, socks, slippers and my house sweater because I have sent that part of my brain to my happy place and am pretending this is temporary and doesn't bother me at all.)

The precious folly of my youth is now a junior in high school.  How, HOW did that happen?  He amazes and humbles me every day as I watch him grow.  Juniors and Seniors don't start school until noon the first day so they can prepare the sophomores in the morning for the high school experience.  This gave me a chance to really spend some time with him on the first day of school and allowed him to finish that final summer reading assignment before he had to rush off to turn it in.  Hopefully not a sign of things to come this year...oh who am I kidding, it is exactly a sign of things to come. 

I usually choose a verse or something for school but hadn't really thought about it this year.  I guess I figured we had a family verse instead and I would just pray that over him.  But when I started thinking of it this morning Romans 8:37 came to me, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."  Conquerors.  Somehow that word seems so fitting for going into his junior year. 

This is the year all his friends (and soon hopefully him) are driving, he will hopefully be getting a year round job and with all that comes much more independence and many more temptations and decisions to be made without his parents present to help him make the best choices.  When temptations come I want him to remember he is "More than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who loves Jake" (v37) the scriptures goes on to say and I want Jake to be "convinced that, neither death nor life, angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate Jake from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(v 38-39)  And earlier in the passage you hear the battle cry for the 11th grade warrior going off to conquer the temptations that await him, "if God is for me, who can be against me?" (v 31)

That is my prayer for Jake during this school year.

But, since he usually has to be to school by 7:30, starting tomorrow I will probably be praying it from bed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Seek First

I am looking back through my posts because I can't remember what I have said the past couple months about what God has been teaching me and didn't want to repeat myself. I am now remembering how little I have blogged but instead just sat in my thoughts this summer. 

I usually puke them out to you all the moment I have a thought but have been in a season of just sitting and listening.  It has been refreshing.  I realize how often I run ahead of God.  A quick prayer and I am off and running without waiting for the response, one of the many things God was talking to me about this summer.

I was going to start at the beginning but as I was reviewing my journal I can't really see where there is a beginning just a process.  So I guess you will receive each thought individually as I decide to share.

Boy! That introduction really is setting me up to tell you alot of deep stuff.  It really isn't that deep but it has been meaningful to me to sit with God and find a peace I really needed during a time in life full of transition.

This summer God led me to what is going to be our family verse for the next year.  Matthew 6:33, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

It isn't an original verse but I really have been feeling lately that the impact of some of the popular verses gets lost because of how often it is referred to.  Yet they are common verses because of the powerful truths contained in them.  So this year as a family we are going to study some of the scriptures that you hear so often you don't even think about them.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  I will tell you about that some other day.

Our family talked about the Matthew 6:33 seek first scripture during our weekend away this summer.  We spent time really looking at the context of the scripture, before it Jesus is asking the people why they are worrying so much.  Jesus points out how clearly he provides for all his creatures and reminds the people (us) of how much more he loves them (us) and so will clearly provide for them (us) as well.  My sister had an amazing experience recently to further emphasize that point.

So we don't have to worry because God provides for all our needs.  And lest we are worried He doesn't know what we need Jesus assures us He does, v32 "and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."

Apparently Jesus was worried we wouldn't know how to properly spend all the free time we would have if we stopped worrying, a valid concern since we had been wasting it worrying before, so in the next verse he tells us what to do, "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things (all our needs that we have been worrying about) will be given to you as well."

But then we (OK me but I drag the whole family along on my journeys) wondered what the word Seek really meant.  How exactly do you go about Seeking God?  I copied that page out of the old dictionary we have as John was packing the car for the weekend so we could answer this burning question I knew my family would have when we discussed this verse.

Seek: To make search or enquiry for; to look for; to strive after

My men were rivoted to their seats as I read the definition of "seek" to them.  Still we did have wonderful discussion about what that would mean for us both as a family and individually to seek God in our lives.  We talked about finding time, reading scripture and devotionals, priorities and prayer. 

Of course we can't ignore the word "first" in this discussion.  I figured we knew what that meant so I didn't copy that definition out of the dictionary.  But I did have Jake read the story of Jehoshaphat.  I didn't know exactly where in the bible it was but figured somewhere in the history of Israel.  Lucky for us God knew where it was and had Jake open his bible right to it.

The weekend before I had been at She Speaks and one of the main speakers had focussed on this story from the old Testement.  I will let you go read it yourself (In 2 Chronicles 20 in case you don't open right to it as well.)  The basic story is that Judah is under attack (again) and it isn't looking good (as usual).  When Jehoshaphat hears about this impending doom he...Seeks First!

"Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.  The people of Judah came togeher to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him."

OK so lets say I am lounging around the house on a typical morning preparing to have my queit time when a friend calls and asks if she can come over in an hour.  The first thing I will do when I get off the phone is...start picking up the house, get dressed because I am still in PJ's, wipe down the bathroom and wonder if I have any food to serve her.  When even a slight change in my schedule occurs I do not think to stop and seek God before I prepare.  When problems come into my life do I first seek God or do I first start solving the problem?  More often than not the answer is solve the problem.

Yet with a "vast amy" bearing down on Jehoshaphat what does he do?  Gather the troops?  Sharpen the blades?  Reinforce the city? Map out a battle plan?  NO.  He first seeks God.  And upon doing so discovers what a waste of time getting ready for a battle would have been since God tells him they won't have to fight.  So instead he puts together a choir to sing praises to God and sends them out in front of the troops.  This of course would make no sense to anyone else but Jehosphaphat and the people of Judah had sought God first and they knew there was nothing to worry about.  Sure enough by the time they reached the other army everyone was dead and Judah's army never lifted a finger.

So that is what we are doing this year as a family.  Seeking God.  Seeking Him first.  Seeking to discover what he has for us when we let go of our worry, stop thinking about our own needs and turn our eyes and our hearts toward God.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

blog updates

School is right around the corner for Jake and Isabelle.  Although I have somehow managed to keep up with this blog for almost 2 years while Isabelle was hanging around, suddenly these past few weeks I feel like I can't do anything until she goes off to school and gives me 3 hours of uninterrupted time to myself.  Because apparently while she is watching Phineas and Ferb and Jake is asleep I can't get anything done.

Here are a few blog updates and thoughts for the fall:

While I was busy having a fun summer I completely missed the fact that I have had over 200 post.  This post marks my 210th post.  Who knew I had so much to say?  Well my husband probably knew but now you all know too.

And I have officially had over 10,000 visits to my blog.  I would say about 5,000 of those hits were of me looking at my own blog and another 4,500 were probably my husband, son, mom, sisters, aunts and cousins but that means there are a few people out there not obligated by blood or law to read my thoughts and yet still do.  A big thank you to everyone who reads this either because you have to or because you want to.  I have enjoyed all the wonderful and supportive feedback which has made this so much fun.

This fall I am going to add some ads to my blog.  Just to see what will happen.  Feel free to click on them or ignore them.  Either way  I will keep posting all kinds of random thoughts for you to enjoy.

My SIL suggested I do some kind of give away which sounded like fun.  I am contemplating that possibility for my 2 year anniversary of blogging which I believe is in October.  Details to come.  I promise it won't be something amazing like an Ipad or anything but I am sure I can come up with something.  I know you are all on the edge of your seat wondering what it will be but you will just have to wait.

I think that about covers it.  Why not leave a comment on my blog today telling me how excited you are about the fall plans, suggestions for a give away, or topics you are just dying to know my thoughts on.  If nothing else you could just say, "hi".  Don't be shy I love comments.