Monday, November 18, 2013

This Could Be a Game Changer

Generally speaking, my blog posts have either centered around my children or what we are changing in our fitness and nutrition world.  However, I am feeling that I am supposed to be sharing something more.  Actually, I've felt for quite a while now that God wants something more for me, has something more for me.  But what?

As I wrote in my journal today, how can I expect to recognize the Shepherd's voice if I am not spending the time to know Him?  I've been so disconnected.  I've allowed busy and social media to come before my time with God.  True confession: I wake up in the morning and check my Facebook, Instagram, and e-mail before I even consider opening my Bible.  I feel 100% confident that as a Jesus girl, that is not how God wants me to prioritize my time.

In January of this year, I began reading a devotional written by Zig Ziglar.  I love it for a few reasons.  It provides a guide for me instead of me trying to figure out which scriptures to read that day.  I then read the devotion and spend some time journaling the answers to the discussion questions at the end of each day.  Except when I don't!  On the days that I've not taken the time to read it, I leave the pages of my journal blank.  I am sadly admitting to you, that there have been more blank pages recently than filled pages.  Is that how a Jesus girl is supposed to live her life?

During the school year, my Bible study, which is separate from a devotion time, comes from BSF - Bible Study Fellowship.  I adore this in depth study of the Bible!  My husband and daughters also attend a BSF evening class.  I love that we are learning the same things each week and can discuss them.  The assignments are broken down daily so the student can really allow that material to speak to their hearts.  So, when I've waited until the last minute and am completing a few days of lessons on the same day, I am not receiving from the study what God has intended for me to learn.

What do I do about all of this?  I know, without a doubt, that this is my happy place.

I am truly the most fulfilled when I am in God's Word (with my multitude of highlighters, multi-colored Sharpie pens, and a hot cup of coffee).  I can't say that I am the happiest, but I am fulfilled.  There are times that what I am reading brings me great joy and yet other times when I am broken to the core.  The fulfillment comes from knowing that whichever emotion I am experiencing I am feeling that because God needs to change something or reveal something in my life.

The aim of our pastor's sermon yesterday, which you can watch or listen to here, was this, "The Holy Spirit-filled disciple is an active witness of the Resurrection."  That is where I think I begin.  I begin by asking the Holy Spirit to fill me each day.  I begin by prioritizing my day to reflect my beliefs.  Pastor Jerry also said, "It could be a game changer for us if we allow the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do."  To that I say, "Game on!"  I am ready to change.  I am ready to live a life that reflects my beliefs, living it all in for Christ.

It is time to make "screen time" rules for ME!  How many parents make them for their children without recognizing the need to have them for themselves?  I've have been that hypocritical mother.  It is all about prioritizing.  What is going to help me achieve the desired outcome for my life?  

The last quote that I want to share with you is from Zig Ziglar.  "Most people who fail in their dream fail not from a lack of ability but from a lack of commitment."  That has been a good portion of my story up to this point of my life.  I am going to work very hard to change that part of the biography of my life.

Thank you for sharing in my life's journey with me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our "Baby" a Decade Later

Today we celebrate the 10th birthday of our youngest child, London Elizabeth!

London was born inquisitive.  That hasn't changed!

This is a photograph of us with my Grandma Elizabeth.  London never had the chance to meet my Grandma Esther Elizabeth.  But she definitely represents both of their kind and loving personalities.

In the past few years, she's discovered a love for soccer.  She is playful and energetic.  She loves her teammates as much as she loves the sport itself.  She enjoys playing around but knows when it's time to be serious.

Sweet girl, we just love you to pieces!  God knew exactly what he was doing when he chose us to be your family.  You are an amazing blend of Daddy and Mommy with a whole lot of your own personality mixed in there!

We love how you can be tough in one minute and want your hair curled in the next.

You are such a beautiful child.  We love listening to you sing and play your guitar.  We love how excited you are for school and new books.  We love how hard you work and how dedicated you are to the activities that matter to you.

1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." (ESV)

We see real love in you daily through the way you treat your friends, classmates, and even your siblings.  We love your hugs and kisses.  We are so blessed by you!

Happy Birthday precious London!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh What a Night...Afternoon Actually

This past Saturday, London celebrated her upcoming 10th birthday with eleven of her best girls!  It was quite the combination: photo booth, Operation Christmas Child, with just a hint of Duck Dynasty

How many times do your children come home with gift bags from a birthday party?  Yeah, I used to send them too.  But I see a couple of problems with this.  Why am I sending gifts home with children who came to a party?  Isn't the party good enough?  More importantly, does your child really need ONE MORE BOUNCY BALL?  Probably not.  So this year instead, the girls packed OCC Shoe Boxes.  I purchased the supplies and they teamed up to pack the boxes.  It was incredible seeing how excited they were about preparing these gifts!  I imagine that the girls who receive them will feel equally excited.

The table was all neatly set with the color sheets to be included in the shoe boxes and the items for each box.  The balloons which are still were hanging from the ceiling, came in a package from Samaritan's Purse.

Nicole and London have been friends since infancy.  They started daycare together in 2004 and have been friends ever since!

One group shot before the festivities were underway.

Even a photobomb from our dog Max (courtesy of my older daughter Sydney).

The girls worked quietly and diligently to complete these color sheets which included just a bit of personal information about them, plus hand drawn self images.

They turned packing the boxes into a race!

London found this Duck Dynasty cake design at Sam's Club.  She was so excited for her Uncle Si ring!

I could not have pulled this party off without the help of my oldest daughter.  Thank you Sydney for EVERYTHING you did - before, during, and after the party!!!

I wonder what she wished???

A little love for Uncle Si!

This laugh right here is why I absolutely love throwing birthday parties for my children!

If we would've had a watermelon eating contest, Ellie certainly would have won!

London and Ella have been BFFs for over five years.  As a matter of fact, today is Ella's 10th birthday.  Happy Birthday Ella!  We love you to pieces!!!

This face is priceless!

The girls with their shoe boxes!  We will include a copy of this photo when I ship the boxes.

These girls sure knew how to make a mess!!!  They had a lot of fun doing it!

And, of course, the afternoon ended with a bit of soccer...what else!!!