3.31.2011

Project 365: March 2011


This month you learned to sit on a BIG GIRL swing, spent a great deal of time sitting on the potty, imitated Mommy with your deep voice while saying “Hi, Mr. Potato Head!” and nurtured Emmie, A-shoo and Baby by putting them to bed, kissing them and gently patting them when they cried.

Looking back at this month, you have really started looking more like a little girl instead of a baby. Your features are changing and your vocabulary is expanding every day! It’s amazing to look back and see how much you have changed in the last few months. You even sent your first text message to Lindsay! :)

Other random things this month:
Cousin Eli had surgery for intussusception and we got to go visit Daddy’s Navy base.

3.19.2011

BBS: Week 6 Discussion

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What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I am challenged and inspired at the same time to learn how to submit and respect my husband. This is not an easy thing for me to naturally do. I feel very determined and stubborn about certain things and don’t always stop to think about how that may be disrupting God’s intention for our lives. Not only that but it is belittling to my husband at the same time - so bad times two. Yuck. My heart is in need of change, and that is what I intend to do. And even if it feels too difficult for me to do for him at times, I will remind myself that I’m actually doing this for HIM.

Write out what these verses say about our submission:

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife - like Christ is the head of the church.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:5
Wives are to be subject to their husbands and teach the younger women to be pure so that no one will disobey the word of God.

1 Peter 3:1
Wives be submissive to your husbands - especially if the husband does not believe the word - so that he may be convinced by your actions and behavior.

Choose a positive word of response:
“Okay!” ...said with a happy face and without cynicism or objection... I am fully convinced that if I let him suggest more things and I openly accept his ideas without “trying to be realistic,” it will not only make him feel like a man. He will feel confident that I trust him. I always say I want to be treated like a lady - so I guess it should be a no-brainer that he would want to be treated like a man!! (duh!!)

Ask of each word, act and attitude, “Am I bending or bucking?”
Wow - what a toughie. This is like a kick in the gut, accompanied by my punch in the face from Ch. 5! Ha! I guess I don’t consider my strong opinions to be perceived as disrespectful but I can see how they could be... Just like I need to help him - I need to also bend. I know he will not take advantage of me so why is it so hard for me to just let him do things his way when he wants to? He lets me have a lot of freedom and asks me for my opinions on anything he knows would be a big deal to me. I need to just let go and give it all to the Big Guy (God). ;)

Write out simple definitions for these words:

Respect - giving special attention

Notice - favorable attention

Regard - special consideration

Honor - to highly admire someone

Prefer - like better than something else

Venerate - to honor with a ritual act of devotion

Esteem - admiration

Defer - to put off or delay

Praise - to glorify

Love - to cherish

Admire - to greatly appreciate something

Exceedingly - extremely

1. Make a commitment to revere and respect your husband.
I will honor and respect my husband, allowing him to make important decisions for our family - trusting that the Lord is control of our lives. And my God-given responsibility is to help my life mate to succeed. I will not belittle him by challenging his decisions - and I will not ever, ever, ever make him feel like less of a man by showing disrespect in public.

2. Treat your husband as you would Christ Himself. How will you do this today?
I will build him up and encourage him. I will remind him of how much I love him and appreciate everything he is doing for our family. I will not be upset even though I miss him since he’s working so much. I will be supportive and smile when he has to leave for work. I will pray for him while he is away.

3. Ask of your attitude, “Am I demonstrating respect for my husband?”
Everyday I’m going to have to pay close attention to my actions. I love how this book gives practical advice for growing my heart closer to God’s and understanding what it’s going to take to be after His will for our lives. I will not air out my frustrations with anyone as gossip. I will only share experiences respectfully in order to offer encouragement to another woman who is seeking help through other believer’s learnings.

What an AWESOME chapter! I loved how the heart response and ended up re-writing it for my journal and put Brian’s name in the spot of husband so it would resonate and repeated it aloud a few times. What a great reminder to stay focused on making him my top priority and to be his encourager and respect him the way God would want me to!!

“Brian is my LIFE MATE. He is God’s good and PERFECT GIFT to me, part of GOD’S PLAN for my personal fulfillment and spiritual development.”

3.17.2011

My heart goes out to Japan


Copied from Twig & Thistle.

My thoughts are with the people and families in Japan. As the images continue to come in and the devastation worsens, my heart goes out to all that have been affected. As a way of honoring the tragedy in Japan, I will be taking part in the Bloggers Day of Silence, tomorrow, March 18th. Along with over 200 bloggers, we will silence our blogs in hopes of taking the day to reflect and revere the disaster in Japan.
The lovely ladies of Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have joined with ShelterBox to create a fundraising site called For Japan With Love. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. If you’d like to donate or would like more information please visit For Japan With Love and ShelterBox. Please donate what you can and encourage others to do the same. Thank you and lot’s of love! xoxo

3.16.2011

Verse of the Week {11} Genesis 1:1


Doesn’t get much simpler or much more straight forward than this.
Thank you God for giving us life, love and most of all, your son.


Join in!

3.15.2011

BBS: Week 5 Discussion

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What meant the most to you about this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
Have you ever felt like God has ever reached over and punched you in the face with something? Like you’ve been so oblivious to what is right in front of you but too consumed with yourself that you don’t even see it? ... Well, that’s just how I feel about this chapter. More times that I’d like to admit, I found myself, squinting my eyes and saying “Oh no! I do that too!...” Gag. In a nutshell, I’m a helper to my husband but I realized I may be the type of helper that’s just doing enough to squeak by. I can say I’m a little helper but I can be a heavyweight hinderer too. And that’s not going to cut it. Not by any means. When Elizabeth said “you are on assignment from God to help your husband” I knew then and there that my attitude has got to change. TODAY.

Now review these words from page 69 of your book:
A helper is one who shares man’s responsibilities, responds to his nature with understanding and love and wholeheartedly cooperates with him in working out the plan of God.

Write out Matthew 20:28...
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

What is the one word that best describes the heart of this verse?
Serve. Serve. Serve.

And how does Jesus say this can be accomplished in verses 26 and 27?
Whoever wants to become great, must be your servant. And whoever wants to be first, must be your servant.

Make a commitment to help your husband.
I will be a helper to him and not hinder him. I will pray for him and do things that lift him up. I will ask what he needs help with and follow through.

Focus on your husband.
I will make sure that he is at the top of my list, every day. I will not neglect him to put anyone else before him. He will be my priority each day.

Ask of your actions, Will this help or hinder my husband?
Now that I am aware, I will be able to stop myself and think: “…is this going to help or hinder my husband?...” I must make this a habit in order to put all of the above in to action!

*Eve (Genesis 3:1-6, 17) : Did Eve help or hinder her husband? Why? ...and How?
Hinder. She allowed herself to be seduced by the serpent - because she wanted to gain more wisdom, she decided to eat the forbidden fruit. And then she convinced her husband to do it too! 

Can you pinpoint any situation in your marriage where your actions or attitudes may be hindering your husband?
Yes, I sometimes feel neglected because we don’t have a lot of time together and instead of being able to focus on the big picture, (a major reason he is doing this is for me: so that I will have more time with our daughter – and hopefully more kids – in the future) I get caught up in the “…but this is what I want right now…” It’s easy for me to complain about what we don’t get to do together when I should be focused on everything he is doing for me ‘right now’ so that we can all have more time together in the future too. In reality, I’m getting the best of both worlds ‘right now!’
See what I mean about getting punched in the face? It just happened again!

In light of the fact that you are on assignment from God to help your husband, what do you plan to do about this action or attitude?
I prayed and asked God for help in this category, very specifically. I asked for forgiveness from him and I also discussed it with my husband and let him know that I hadn’t been doing what I should be doing for him. I made a commitment to both God and him, letting them know that I am going to be different. I reminded my husband of all the things he does that make me so happy to be his wife. One of his best qualities is he can be so Christ-like with his love for the broken and the lost. He is always the first to help someone out who needs support emotionally, financially or shares his love for Christ with them. He’s never afraid to talk about his life and share his experiences and I am so awed by how candid he is with people. And from where we started, this is huge. This man is truly amazing and I am so blessed to be his wife. I will find it an honor to be his helper!

*Checklist*
• Do you see yourself as a team player, free of any competitive actions, thoughts or desires?
Hmmm... I think of myself as a team player but I definitely don’t always act like one. It’s easy for me to think how tired I am and not want to help out as much as I should - especially in the area of cleaning! I try not to compete with my husband but I can think of a few ways where I might try to get the last word in because I’m trying to convince him that I’m right - eek!

•Is your husband your primary career?
Ashamedly no. I get so caught up in the stresses of work and chasing after our two year old that I lose focus on him. I struggle to make him a priority and can think of a thousand of excuses why. But I know I want to be a priority for him - so I must put them at the top of my list!

A Heartfelt Prayer
Dear Lord, please keep working to change my heart. I want to be the helper my husband deserves. Our life together is nothing short of a miracle and let me never forget that. Without you Lord, we would not have each other, nor be blessed with so much. Help me keep focused on contributing to his needs on day-to-day basis, emotionally and show him the respect he needs to feel loved. I know in his heart that he wants for me to be happy above all else. Change my attitude so that I can show him how happy he makes me, every single day.

3.14.2011

I heart spring break!

So, I don’t actually get a spring break but here are some things why I still love it.

1. My husband still gets one and that means we get to see him A LOT this week! WOO HOO!
2. Duckie is on spring break and she will get to do a lot of fun stuff this week!
3. Traffic is awesome during the week. Everyone goes out of town with their kids, there’s no school zones and getting to work is about 20 minutes faster. Who doesn’t need an extra 20 minutes every day right after we spring forward?
4. I am taking some time off this week to spend with the family. Not a whole week but I’ll take what I can get!
5. And last but not least... I love spring break because this is how we started off our week!

Zakary pulling Duckie around the block
on his Power Wheels!
video

3.12.2011

BBS: Week 4 Discussion

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What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
This is the first chapter that I didn’t read straight through in one sitting. And at the beginning, I was taking it in but wasn’t really identifying - not because I already obey all the time but because life was good, I suppose. Well, let’s just say an instance came up where I CLEARLY realized an area in my life that I wasn’t being obedient and now I know I need to change.

This time look up the word “obedient.” To crystalize its meaning in your mind and heart, write the definition out as simply as you can here.
Submissive to the restraint or command of authority: willing to obey. (This couldn’t be much more louder or clearer...)
What specific instructions and promise did Samuel give to Saul in 1 Samuel 10:8?
That he would come down to him and sacrifice burnt offerings.

Seven days later, what happened (see 1 Samuel 13:8-9)?
Samuel did not come exactly when he said and Saul’s men began to leave. So Saul offered the burnt offerings without waiting.

When Samuel finally arrived and asked Saul, “What have you done?” how did Saul answer in verses 11-12? (Or, put another way, how many excuses did he give and how many different people did he blame?)
Samuel - for not coming when promised
His men - for scattering
Philistines - because they were assembling at Micmash
And then because he thought the Philistines would come down against him
 

What was Samuel's assessment of Saul's disobedience, and what was the result (verses 13-14?)
Told him he acted “foolishly.” And because of that, the Lord would not give him reign over Israel. And that the Lord had appointed someone else, who had a heart devoted to Him.
 
What were Samuel's direct instructions to Saul (verse 3)? (If you think this command sounds harsh, look at Exodus 17:8-16)
Go attack the Amelekites and destroy everything: men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys.

What did Saul do (1 Samuel 15:7-9)?
He spared the king and all the fattened calves and best animals.
 
Write out a personal prayer of commitment to make yours a walk in obedience. You may want to use a separate piece of paper.

Concentrate on doing what is right --- What warning does James 4:17 give?
That anyone who knows the he good he should do but doesn’t, is sinning!
 
Cease doing what is wrong ---What is the instruction of Proverbs 16:17?
Steer clear from evil! Guard your ways from evil and you will guard your life.
 
Confess any wrong --- What does 1 John 1:8-9 teach us?
If we claim to be without sin, we are only lying to ourselves and the truth isn’t in us.
 
Clear up things with others --- What does Matthew 5:23-24 exhort?
Basically that if we know that there is someone else out there who has something against us, we need to go to them and seek forgiveness and reconciliation before coming to the Lord.
 
Continue on as soon as possible --- What principles do Philippians 3:13-14 give us?
Forget what is in the past and move forward, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called for us.
 
Read 1 Peter 2:1 and begin a list of heart attitudes and behaviors that hinder growing a heart of obedience. Which, if any, are hindering the growth of your heart?

Hypocrisy, gossip. Slander and disrespectful behavior. Eww. It’s gross to even have to list those things.

Relate in 100 words or less one instance when you were aware that you actively chose to walk in obedience this week. Then thank God for that opportunity and His Grace to make that choice.

After the harsh realization that I need a change of heart in the obedience department, I have chosen to resist Satan and, no matter what, make the commitment to wholeheartedly put the words of Ephesians 5:33 into place, in my life. Today. No turning back.

3.07.2011

Is there someone following me?

I think I’m probably the last person to find out about Hipstamatic for iPhone.
I must say it’s pretty fun to mess around with! 

This is Duckie, discovering her shadow... And loving every minute! :)

3.05.2011

Verse of the Week {9} Proverbs 10:12


So this one couldn't be any more true, could it?

Have you ever known a time where hatred has not stirred up conflict?.... Even if you believe you are justified in being angry at someone who has wronged you, hating only perpetuates negativity. At least for me, if I become spiteful and overwhelmed by unrest due to someone else’s actions, I often find myself (unintentionally) taking it out on someone else who isn’t even at fault for the first wrongdoing. 

What happens next?... A downward spiral of people paying it forward - but not the good kind - the dirty rotten kind. 

What’s the takeaway? Next time you feel disrespected, hurt or hated ... STOP. DROP (to your knees). And PRAY.  God tells us to love our enemies ... Matthew 5:44 ... Are you loving yours??

3.04.2011

BBS: Week 3 Discussion

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What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I feel inspired by the Blessings described in the chapter - I know those aren’t the only ones I could enjoy with a life committed to prayer. It was especially motivating to read how Elizabeth’s spiritual journey wasn’t one where she automatically knew exactly how to be from the get-go. Like any meaningful relationship, these things take time with A LOT of careful, thoughtful cultivation.

Read Mark 1:35 for a glimpse of Jesus at prayer. What can you learn about His prayer life? 
That He made the effort to get up, before anyone else - to prevent any distractions - so He could dedicate that time in communication with God.

Now describe in a few words what preceded this quiet moment in verses 21-34.... 
Jesus healed many people!

Is your head spinning? Mine is! But Jesus shows us how to handle the “head-spinning” events of busy, hectic, challenging days. How can you follow His example today? 
Uh, let’s see here. This is pretty humbling. I sometimes let my prayer time with God slip because I get caught up in the busyness of life. But, let’s be real here - I’m NOWHERE NEAR as busy as He was ... ever. Guess it’s time to really step it up.


Blessing #1: A Deeper Relationship with God -- As you consider that prayer increases faith, provides a place to unload burdens, teaches us that God is always near, trains us not to panic, and changes lives, which one of these benefits would be the greatest reason for developing a heart committed to prayer at this stage of your life? Why?  
Oh boy... Well, I initially thought it was “trains us not to panic,” but now that I’ve really thought about it, it is probably “teaches us God is always near.” If I could remind myself that God was always near, no matter what the situation, I might not be as inclined to panic... Does that make sense? Here’s the problem. I’m sort of a late bloomer when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I’ve always been a believer but I wouldn’t say we had a relationship - I turned my back on Him a lot. I questioned if He was really there at times and I didn’t have a clear understanding of unconditional love, for sure. I have been working on getting stronger in this area - come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it will top my prayer list.

Blessing #2: Greater Purity -- I shared with you my problem with gossip in this area of purity. Now won't you identify your particular problem area and share briefly what you plan to do about it?

Wow, where do I begin? I’m going to say that I struggle in many areas - more than I would like to admit. However, I would like to eliminate gossiping and even if I don’t actually say the things that are on my mind, I also want to wipe away the bad thoughts. Because even thinking ill feelings or will toward another is also sinful. I will add this to my list of prayers and try to mimic Elizabeth’s tactic of giving it to God every day so that eventually, I’ll get so sick of hearing myself admit that sin to God that I will stop!

Blessing #3: Confidence in Making Decisions -- Look again at the picture of Jesus at prayer in Mark 1:35. What was the result of His time in prayer in the area of decision making (verses 36-39)? What difference did prayer make in the direction for His new day? And what difference might prayer make in the direction for your new days?
When the disciples found Jesus they let Him know everyone was looking for Him. But instead of staying there, He said they should keep moving so He could keep preaching - spreading the Word. Maybe in His prayer time with God, He asked God what He should be doing and knew He should keep moving instead of staying where things were going well and comfortable, where everyone was in favor of what He was doing.


Blessing #4: Improved Relationships -- What relationship do you need to improve through prayer, and how can you begin immediately to commit to prayer about that relationship?
I would have to say it is with my mom. We haven’t always been the closest through the years and I need to keep reminding myself of how I need to be in case my daughter and I have conflict. I need to add this to the prayer list too.  
Blessing #5: Contentment -- Identify an area in your life where you struggle with finding contentment. Now look at Philippians 4:10-13. What can you learn about contentment from these words from the apostle Paul? How can you apply Paul's lessons to your own situation?
WORK! When I lose track of the big picture and focus on this temporary life, I get extremely caught up in how “unfair” things might be at work. Instead of always thanking the Lord for the means to support our family, when times are really tough, I really know how to have a pity party! Admitting it here starts to make my stomach turn - it’s pretty selfish, not to mention childish. Eww. I think I'm missing out on so much and how if I didn’t have to work, things would be so different. And I am confident that at some point, if God says my place is in the home, then it will happen. To stay positive, I will thank Him for being blessed with the physical ability to work. That my daughter is healthy. That she is safe. That she has food to eat and clean water to drink. And that my husband - the man I committed my life is trying to make the desire of my heart (to spend more time with our daughter and future children) come true. That he is healthy, that he is faithful and that he loves God with his whole heart.  

Blessing #6:: God-Confidence -- How do these scriptures increase your trust in God?

Psalm 34:9 -- “…for those who fear him lack nothing.” I have to admit that I get a little confused when I read the “fear” part but I think what it means is that those who “trust” in the Lord, lack nothing. And with that, it makes me realize that if I truly put all my faith in the Lord… I. Will. Lack. Nothing.


Psalm 84:11 -- That if I remain blameless in His sight, then He will withhold nothing from me. A wee bit intimidating but reassuring because my motivation to please Him is higher than it ever has been. Here’s the great thing … He knows my heart. And if I start giving Him the time He deserves and wants, my relationship with Him will grow stronger and stronger.

Blessing #7: The Ministry of Prayer -- Edith Schaeffer stated, “Interceding for other people makes a difference in the history of other people’s lives.” Who are the people you can minister to through prayer, and when do you plan to begin this “ministry?
I can minister to others who feel lost. I can share my testimony with people who have been brought up in less than ideal situations. Of course, we all have things that were not perfect and I’m not trying to say at all that I had it badly. However, I have definitely had some quiet internal struggles which have kept me from being able to live the God-focused life. It’s those people who I find have the hardest time believing. They’ve been judged so harshly and sinfully by someone who brags about being a Christian. And unfortunately, the miss out on the intended message because of the presentation and less than ideal situation.

Read again the suggestions made in the “Yes, But How?” section for cultivating a heart committed to prayer. After writing down which ones you will put into practice today, read my own story.

1.) I‘m going to locate a special journal to start my prayer log. I’m going to put the past behind me and begin anew, one day at a time - to begin my journey of a woman after God’s own heart!

2.) I want to start praying through everything, whether good or bad. For my loved ones and my enemies.

A Heartfelt Prayer --  Relate in 100 words or less one instance when you were aware that you actively chose time in prayer as a priority over something or someone else this week.... 
There was a day at work, I think Tuesday, where I was feeling tense, overwhelmed and downright pitiful. And while I had emails to return, messages to listen to and return, I stopped, closed my door, put my head down on my desk and prayed to God for peace. And although I wasn’t nearly as focused as I would’ve been had I spent the time devoted to God in the morning before the madness ever started, I didn’t lose my temper or my patience. I breathed a sigh of relief, reminding myself of how I would just do the best I could and God would take care of the rest.

3.02.2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!


How my daughter LOVES to methodically put a single sticker on each of her fingers, one at a time. Duckie, you are the most amazing little girl in the entire world!

3.01.2011

BBS: Week 2 Discussion

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What meant the most to you from this chapter or what offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
To me, the best part was when she says to “dream of being a woman after God’s heart!” and then makes you imagine where you will be next year. That really hit home. It’s easy to think spending time with God every day could be overwhelming - at least for me since I’ve never done it regularly - but then to imagine how blessed my life could be in a year... And especially in TEN!!

Roots are unseen--How is your underground life, the time you spend abiding in God's word and prayer out of sight, alone, in secret? 
It’s not always good. I hate to admit it but it’s usually in times of need or worry, sometimes in despair. However, for the past few months, I’ve been praying with my daughter every night before she goes to bed. It used to be a simple bedtime prayer ritual that has turned into a time when I thank God for the day, no matter good or bad. And even though she’s not aware of what is happening (she just turned two), she hears me and sees me. I want this to be something she learns by watching me and her daddy - to spend time with God.

What is the first word of Psalm 1, a psalm that spends three verses describing a woman (or man) who is flourishing, thriving, and blooming?  
Blessed

How does the person of Psalm 1 approach the Word of God according to verse 2? 
She delights in the law of the Lord.

And what does she do with what she finds in God's Word?
Meditates on it DAY and NIGHT.

Note the results listed in verse 3 that come from time spent in God's Word:   
She is like a tree planted by the streams of water - she bears good fruit. She does not wither in times of distress.

Roots for taking in-- Are you more like the breathless, frazzled, fretting, and worrying women in that scenario--or are you more like Karen, recognizing the need to slip away for a few minutes alone with the Lord when tensions mount?
Oh I am a worrier by nature - but I am getting

Look at Isaiah 58:11.  Here God describes the blessings that will be poured out upon those who seek after God in the right ways.  List them here: 
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame (give you what you need even if it things look bad and give you strength). You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

How can you remember to sink your roots down deeper to take in the "waters [that] do not fail" when life heats up?  
Keep spending time in the Word EVERY SINGLE DAY, actually multiple times a day. Each time a negative thought comes to mind. STOP and PRAY! Stay close to God - keep my heart on fire for Him. Don’t let the evil one get the best of me, even if it’s the easier way.

Roots for storage--Do you have a reservoir of verses hidden in your heart during trials?  
Some. Philippians 4:6-8. Psalm 51:10-12. Jeremiah 29:11.

Look at Jeremiah 17:5-8.  Verse 8 describes those who hope in and trust in the Lord.  Jot down a few of their characteristics.  
Strong even when times are tough - even desolate. They will not wither in the face of adversity.

Then contrast the person who trusts in man versus the person who puts his hope and trust in the Lord.  
They can’t see the good in anything and they will always dwell in the place furthest from the Lord.

Roots are for support--Is yours a life marked by the repeated need to be constantly staked up, tied up, propped up, and straightened up, until the next wind comes along and you topple once again?  If so, what will you do today to strengthen your root system in the Lord so you can profit from the power a network of strong roots provide?  
More times than I’d like to admit, I fail miserably at remaining strong. However, I definitely feel the Lord has been shaping me for the past few years to help me develop a quiet strength for my family. Of course, at times, I still get weak and have overwhelming feelings. But in all my life, I’ve never relied on God’s grace than I do now. I know He cares for me and my family and that I can get through all things when I rely specifically on Him. It’s as if He is aware when I get too comfortable. And then things may happen to knock me down and make me feel discouraged but when I feel most alone and forgotten is when He undoubtedly shows up. BIG time. I am going to keep doing my best to stay diligent to stay focused on the Lord, daily and spend time with Him so that I never seem too far.

When do you think you could be the most consistent in having a quiet time?  
When Ava is still asleep - either in the morning or at nap time.

Where do you think you could enjoy the peace and quiet you need for your quiet time?  
Oh... in the comfort of my home.

What aids or tools can make your quiet time most meaningful?  
Maybe keep a journal and some other scriptures displayed throughout the house. I have them at work so that when I get really discouraged, I can look down below my computer screen and see Phil 4:6-8.

Jot down today's date and then describe the woman you desire to be spiritually in one year. 
Today is 03.02.11. In one year, I want to be a woman who is consistently spending time with the Lord every day. I aspire to set a Godly example for my daughter who will  be much more cognizant of what my relationship with the Lord is. I hope to continue building upon my inner strength - which is only possible through complete trust in God - so I am strong, like an oak tree!

Next describe the woman you desire to be in ten years from now. 
WOW - ten years from now... Sure seems like a long way off. Amazingly, it will fly by I’m sure. I would like to be a woman who is known for her strength in the Lord. I pray for my husband to feel a confidence knowing his wife is a source of strength because of that relationship with God. I imagine our family is engaged in our community and they have cheerful hearts who love to serve because they understand that is what the Lord is calling upon them to do.  

A Heartfelt Prayer--Lord, just for today, help me to draw near to You by...
Giving me peace and rest - knowing you are in total control. Even though these past few weeks have seemed like a yucky mess, I trust you know what is best for me. “...that you have plans to prosper me and not to hurt me..” and that you know my future and what is in store if I remain obedient to your Word. Thank you Lord for the abundant blessings in my life - even though I may take them for granted some days. Let me be reminded of your miracles every day and not to forget how you specifically cared for my life from the moment I was born. And even though I fall short, thank you for forgiving me and giving me a new day, every time I awake. You are an awesome God.

Now, relate in 100 words or less one instance when you were aware that you actively chose time in God's word as a priority over something or someone else this week.
Well, if right now counts, then that’s all I can think of - that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? I spent time with the Lord to read before the study and before bed but after the day was finished. However, this is the time where we sit in front of the television and catch up on taped Idol. And instead of rushing downstairs after putting Ava to bed, I am here. Making sure that I complete this post before I take in my silly “me” time - wow, even the sound of it now is getting embarrassing if I haven’t given God some of “our” time. WOW. This is powerful stuff. Thanks God for opening my mind and heart today!


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