Saturday, December 29, 2012
10:01 PM | Posted by Michelle | Edit Post
Ok, I took December off. I am glad too as it was a crazy month. I am looking forward to January. It's a new year. Last year I know I wrote that I wasn't going to write out any resolutions and I am going to do the same this year. However, I do have some goals I need to work on. A lot of them.....and then some that may pop up. This year I'm going to participate regularly in the 3 in 30 Sisterhood. It's great to have accountability and support of other ladies that are going through similar things or working on things that they need support and accountability for.
In 2013 I'm going to reflect these goals in 3 areas - Spiritually, Emotionally and Physical. Physical may not just be about my body. It may be about my house or yard. Emotionally may be working on relaxation, taking time for myself or it could be working on issues. Spiritually while that is a life long learning process between me and God and where He will be leading me.
For this month my goals will be:
This year I will get through the whole Bible. I know I say this every year, but this year I will persevere. I recently found a free book via Inspired Reads called Designed for Devotion: A 365 Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation by Dianne Neal Matthews. I will be using this for daily scripture readings. I will also spend some time making a list of 52 messy people of the Bible so that I can blog about them.
I know this may not sound like a relaxation job, but clutter is stressing me out. I need to start decluttering my home. As a result I am going to continue on my home reorganization project. This month I am going to work on my my Craft area, Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom, my Den and Family Room and the Dining Room in that order. I will be purging unused craft supplies, clothes, books, and nick knacks. I always feel refreshed when everything is in it's home and when there seems to be some order. I may also work on creating a Family Organization Binder. I used to have one and gave up, but I have some ideas from ones I have seen on Pinterest and will use some of the free printables out there.
I'm going to join the pack and start with my health. I recently had a conversation with a friend who suffers from Anorexia and we both agree about diets. I don't want to focus on losing weight the same way she doesn't want to focus on gaining wait. We both want to focus on getting healthy. I'm going to do this slowly. This month I will be following the Lean program. I may modify it a bit but this time I will finish it. I need to start looking at food differently and looking at it as health not comfort.
I can't wait to get started with these goals and to let you know next week how I'm doing. I also can't wait to read everyone else's goals. Come join the 3 in 30 Ladies at Welcome to Our Good Life and join in.
Friday, December 28, 2012
It is that time again. Time to forget the past year. Time to focus on the future. An old year is almost gone and a new year is upon us. Time for new goals and a new word to focus on.
This last year has been one of struggle. It has been full of trials. We have struggled with depression. We continue to live with autism. We have been under attack and have struggled to see the light. The dark has been overwhelming. I have been running around with a lack of purpose or direction. I am in constant survivor mode.
Last year my focus word was Contentment. It was a good word for the year. I read books on joy, blessings and hell. I did the Good Morning Girls studies of Ephesians, Colossians, and Proverbs 31. All of these helped me to focus on true Contentment. They helped me to realize my addiction to things and having things. My wanting for something more. I have learned what true joy is. I have learned the difference between living in the light and living in the darkness. I have come to terms with some aspects of my life and have learned to accept what has been placed before me. It doesn't mean I have to like it though. It doesn't mean everything is becoming perfect and rosy In fact, the one thing that I have learned this year is that I'm messy.
No, I am not talking about "messy" in the sense that my house is a mess and my kids are a mess. I am talking about being a "Hot Mess." I am not in control. I am not perfect. Things are hard. Messy is defined as marked by confusion; disorder; lacking precision extremely unpleasant or trying. This pretty much sums up my life. I think it pretty much sums up everybody's life I know. We are all messy. None of us is perfect. I have friends who suffer from depression, anorexia, children who suffer from numerous health issues, marriage struggles, family crisis, child molestation, ... I could go on, but I think you get my point.
I struggle when I see people with supposed perfect lives try to preach their lives to others. I want authenticity. I want honesty. I want people to know about the mess and know that it will not defeat me. I want people to know who is fighting my battles with me and for me. I want people to see that none of us is perfect. We don't have to respond that we are "fine" when we aren't. It's ok to say "I'm alive." It should be enough.
We all come from a long line of messies too. The Bible is full of them. I ran across the following picture last year on Pinterest.
This list represents just some of the messy people in the Bible. God used them all. God loved them all just where they were and just for what they were - themselves. I heard the best explanation of this philosophy on the Survivor Finale by Lisa Whelchel. She talked about the internal struggle that we are both good and bad and God loves us anyway. God loves us just where we are. We need to accept that and stop trying to be perfect or to be perceived as perfect. That doesn't mean that God doesn't want our best, but each of our best is different. We need to be about acceptance not judgement. We need to focus Up and not Out.
If you are still wondering what my word is, it is Messy. I'm going to focus on the messy people of the Bible and how God used them. I'm going to focus on authenticity and honesty. I'm going to embrace my beautiful mess and see how it makes me me. I can't wait. I hope you join me on the journey, mess and all.
Have you picked a word to focus on in the new year? What are you thoughts of messiness? Come link up with the Java Junkies this week and share your randomness.
Monday, December 24, 2012
7:52 AM | Posted by Michelle | Edit Post
This December has been one of many struggles for my family - depression, slipped disk, GSI, loss of assistance, etc... It's getting to the point where even my friends are asking how much more can we take.
It doesn't only feel like we are going through this either. You only have to watch to news to see that things aren't right. That people are struggling. That hurt is abound. That evil is attacking us. After the shootings at Sandy Hook School, a friend questioned if this wasn't God's plan. I don't believe it was. God has a plan for each and every one of us. Plans to prosper not to harm. Plans with a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) All of this isn't in God's plan. God doesn't want us to hurt or be in pain. All this is about darkness.
Christmas is about light. We light a candle each week to represent - hope, love, joy, and peace. These little flames represent the light that Christ brought to our world with His birth. It's not about defeat or darkness. But that's what the enemy wants us to believe. He wants us to focus on despair and pain. He wants us to focus on stress and crowds. He wants us to focus on consumption and overindulgence. He wants us to focus on Elf on the Shelf and not the missing baby in the Nativity Scene. The enemy wants us to think that he's won.
In the world we live in it's easy to fall into his trap. Children killed. Old hostilities ignited. Politics over shadowing reconciliation. Debt looming. Countries close to bankruptcy. People losing jobs. I could go on. It's to the point where I don't want to watch the news anymore. There doesn't appear to be anything good in the world, if you believe the news makers.
But Love is alive in a breath. A teacher sacrificing herself for her students. Hope is alive in a simple random act of kindness of sharing a free coffee with the car behind you. Peace is reflected in people gathering to help those who need help by providing food and necessities no matter their background or faith. Joy is reflected in the eyes and giggle of child in the arms of a family member as they celebrate Jesus' birth. The enemy hasn't won. Christ's gift is still here.
Earlier this year I read Ann Voskamp's A Thousand Gifts. This book made me think of the little things instead of the big. We all want to look for God in the larger things, but He is just as strong in the small. Remember the mustard seed. If we want to move the mountain we need to see him in the speck of dust around us. We are looking for Him in a large light, but He's there in the lowly flame of a small candle. We need to trust that He is there. Because He is.
We are all facing the darkness instead of focusing on the light. We have wandered and are now lost. We need only to turn around and see the child lying in the manger to know who won and continues to fight on our behalf. We need to focus on the light of the world who came out of darkness.
"Light of the World
You stepped down into darkness
ed my eyes
Let me see"
(Here I am the Worship by Chris Tomlin)
Friday, December 21, 2012
I know this season is about giving, hope, love, compassion, joy, and peace. It's about the gift that God gave us. It's about change of attitude. It's less about us and more about others. I wish that I could agree with Natalie Cole about what my Christmas list is this year.......
However, I'm feeling a bit selfish today. I have been struggling lately. I also have a slipped disk and am in a bit of pain. Since according to some ancient race that didn't predict their own demise that today is the end of the world, I'm going to share my true grown up Christmas list.
I admit that I covet this. I really want a Kindle. I know I'll hear people say that they really prefer paper books and so do I. I, however, have over 200 free books on my lap top. Reading them on my lap top is annoying. I'm not even asking for the top of the line one, a simple one would be good.
I have always wanted my own waffle iron. One of my favourite memories as a child was my grandmother making waffles for dinner. I loved eating them with Rogers Golden Syrup. I remember trying to get dessert out of her after we ate them. Did I tell you we poured the syrup all over them until each waffle was squished from the sugary goodness.
I either want a new blender or a food processor. I have been using a recipe for a blender Hollandaise sauce which is extremely yummy and easy to make. However, there is a great recipe for a spinach peanut butter shake that is actually extremely yummy and healthy. The possibilities are endless.
This is not what my view is from my back yard. Nor is my deck anywhere as large as this one. I would love a nice set of patio furniture so I can sit and relax on my deck with my new Kindle. (Too much of a hint). I can picture myself with my cup of coffee relaxing.
I'm a geek at heart. I have the movies on VHS. I need to have all of them on DVD. Especially now that the kids are enjoying the movies as much as I do. I can picture us all sitting on the couch and running a Star Wars marathon. Which leads us to....
How can we have a marathon without popcorn? My popcorn maker is almost gone. A few more pops and I think it will officially be out of commission. I love the retro look of this air popper. I know some people we have purchased a large one, but where would I put it. This one would fit in my cupboards.
I'm sure I could go on and on about my "real" grown up Christmas list. Hope you all have a great Christmas. I hope you all survive the supposed end of the world. Come join up with the other java junkies and share your randomness with us this week.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Earlier this week, I felt like I was out of control. OK, not just felt like it, I was out of control. I felt like I had so much to do. I hadn't started Christmas baking yet. I hadn't started Christmas shopping yet. I was dealing with some family issues. I just didn't know when I was going to get time to do everything. I just was so tense and frustrated. I wanted to curl up and hide and just sleep through this season.
But, Christmas is coming.....
Tuesday morning, I sat and did my Good Morning Girl study for the day (of which I haven't posted yet). It was based on Nehemiah 8:10.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. do not grieve for the JOY of the Lord is your strength." (NIV84)
I felt defeated and beaten. Of course I was tired. That's what happens in battle. You get tired. You get weary. But His JOY will give us the strength to go on and hold on. When we are in the trials it is hard to recognize this. We are too focused to see the light. Everything seems overwhelming and dark. We need to focus on the light. We need to find it even when it seems like embers in a dying fire. It's still light and has the possibility of turning into a raging forest fire.
This season is about the light. God brought his Joy into the world. Jesus is the light and Joy that gives us strength when we don't know how we will get through. He brightens our way and leads us through the darkness. He enables us to go on, when we don't think we are able to.
I've been leaning on the lyrics of the Plumb song "Need You Now." We all need Him now. We all need to search for Him, whether in the light of a manager or the shadow of the cross. He is there. He is calling us. He wants to bring us Joy. We just need to ask for it and embrace it.
"Need You Now (How Many Times)"
Are you searching for the light? Are you calling out? Come link up with the other Java Junkies this week with your randomness.
Friday, December 7, 2012
What a week. Since writing about trying to focus on the real reason for Christmas, I have been stressed and busy. My little one came down with Tonsillitis (PS note to self and warning to others do not Google images for tonsillitis). Trying giving medicine to a little guy who has refused medicine since the day of his birth, not fun. My husband came down a quick stomach bug. My parents came for a visit with their two foster sons. We decorated our tree. I've had meetings and have had to postpone appointments due to lack of computer cords. It's one of those weeks.
But still Christmas is coming (no matter how much I try to avoid it). I purchased a Veggie Tales Christmas DVD set for the kids and it came with a cd of 25 Veggie Tale Christmas songs. I love the Carol of the Bell's by Archibald. I've added it to my Christmas Playlist. It's a great playlist. One minute you hear Veggie Tales. The next one, you'll hear a Dutch Christmas song. Elvis is thrown in there and then there are some great musical pieces. I need to find my Rosemary Clooney cd and my Christmas jazz cd so that I can them in there too. It's beginning to sound like Christmas.
Speaking of music. I've decided to share a Canadian Christmas tradition. No it's not sitting around the fire with our toques, drinking hot chocolate and trying not to freeze from the cold weather. Nor is it building igloos with the kids; although it did snow a few times this week. Nope, it's Bob and Doug McKenzie. Who? If you are Canadian, you know what I'm talking about. Doug and Bob McKenzie or otherwise known as Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (not of Wendy's fame). They are two comedians from Canada who made it big on SCTV. If you don't know what SCTV was, check out the link. I grew up with them. I probably wasn't supposed to watch, but they were pretty harmless humour.
Doug and Bob McKenzie put out an album in the early 80s, which included a Christmas song, the 12 Days of (Canadian) Christmas. This version changed my thoughts and many of peers thoughts of this song. I thought I would share it with you.
Even after all these years. I won't tell you how many, I still giggle when I hear it.
What Christmas funnies do you remember? Come link up with the other Java Junkies this week and share your Christmas randomness.
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