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Showing posts from 2010

Really? So soon?!

Can I just vent for a second? Why is being a responsible adult so...so...full of responsibility?! My quest to be Miss "Planned & Organized" for the start of the New Year is pressing all the anxiety buttons from within. I'm realizing, I guess, just how many areas we have to improve in! Kind of depressing. I thought it's rather interesting how I was so gung-ho about this yesterday, and now the wind has already been knocked out of my sails. Of course, I guess there's nothing wrong with just floating here for a little while.

Hah. That's actually not a bad idea! Just float around in this spot of acknowledgement and stay focused on God until He shows me the next step in the process.

Floating. Now that makes me think about sunshine and swimming pools. At first I smile as I think about being in Florida in March. Just chillin' with the family and enjoying the warm sunshine and relaxing pool. Then I start to get those same anxiety buttons pushed as I remember…

Purposefully Planning

I'm purposefully taking time this week to prepare for the New Year. The busyness of Christmas has passed (sigh), and the schedule has lots of "down" time in it the next few days. For the first time in quite a while, I'm actually excited about the New Year ahead. Normally, it's a time where I regretfully look back over the last twelve months and all of my un-reached goals. This year was different though.

I read something on a home planning blog that may help explain why 2010 has been a more productive year. This particular organizing dynamo reminded her readers that in order for any home planner to be useful, you need  to take regular time to pray and ask for God's direction in your life. Take regular inventory of what you're doing well, and in what areas you need improvement. Ask God to help you make the best decisions. As parents (or just as "people", for that matter) we can't just "make it through". We have to be purposeful abou…

Mary Did You Know - Clay Aiken

Merry Christmas!

Ahhhh...can you hear it? That's the sound of serenity. Christmas vacation has officially started at our house, and I think I'm even more excited than the kids! For the next two weeks, the title of "homeschooling Mom" is not on my wall. Of course, there are others that take its place: Santa's helper, baker, "hostess with the mostess"...you know, things like that.

This time of year is full of extremes. Have you ever noticed that? It seems that no other time of year can make us this blessed, this stressed, this happy, or this sappy. We're all kind of living life on full throttle right now! It's funny how my opinion of the Christmas season has changed since I was a kid. Then I was all about the fun and magical feeling of it all. Now I see all the work that goes into the fun and magic...and I'll admit it stresses me out! Not to mention the togetherness of family. That's not something I really want to discuss at the moment, but I'm sure y…

Unwrapping...Me?!

As I'm getting ready to start wrapping Christmas presents, I have to share this with you: I'm feeling a bit like a Christmas present myself. I know, I know. I have lots of splaining to do on this one. Check it out:

I'm on an incredible journey right now. Not only am I losing weight (which I've done before to certain degrees), I'm also changing my thought life. In particular: my personal self-talk. God is not only slowly transforming my body, but He's doing a BIG work in my head as well. This is where I'm starting to feel like a Christmas present. Maybe the image should be more of comparing my journey to the layers of an onion (or an avocado, or a rose petal), but for the current time of year a Christmas present just seemed more appropriate. Let me continue...

What is it about opening a present that we all get so excited about? It's finding out the surprise within the wrapping paper. Right? Finding out the unknown (and knowing that most likely you're…

Deep Water Faith in the Shallow End

What do you think about the title of today's post?  If you listen to the Casting Crowns song I posted under this, you'll hear that line. It's another one of those songs that is on my MP3 player and I hear it regularly when I'm working out. That line keeps rolling over and over in my mind. The gist of the song seems to be someone who is on fire for God...but only so hot. "Somewhere between the hot and the cold."

When I first think of having deep water faith in the shallow end, I think of someone who is ready. Ready as they'll ever be (until they actually GET into the deep end). But they think they're ready for whatever life has to throw at them. They're in the shallow end only because they just don't want to be anywhere else right now. But they're ready for the deep end. Or so they think.

But I don't think this is really what the song is getting at

I was reading in the book of John today and I was struck by just how often Jesus was sco…

Somewhere in the middle - Casting Crowns

Fresh Snow!

The first snow. That's what we're enjoying today. And enjoying is really what it is. There's something quite special about that first snowfall, isn't there? The kids couldn't wait to go outside for recess all bundled up in their winter weather gear. By the time they came inside, there was barely any spot of snow in the backyard that didn't have a footprint in it. They were enjoying every snowflake that fell on their noses and melted on their snow pants.

Fresh snow is just one of the many special gifts from heaven. Each flake is unique. It's as if God is having art class and sending His creations down for us to enjoy.

Fresh snow does everything from put you in the Christmas spirit to remind you of the joy of a clean slate. We get one of those every day, you know. But I think it's all too easy to forget it.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ~ "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is you…

Lots of Blessings

Are you enjoying this long Thanksgiving weekend? I pray you are. It's sure been an unusual one around our house. Mom had her 2nd hip replacement surgery on Monday, so we celebrated our family Thanksgiving last Saturday night. Thanksgiving Day we brought Mom home in the morning and then hung out at their house most of the day. Our Thanksgiving Day meat of choice was beef roast instead of turkey. Pretty reminiscent of the day Hannah was born. Six years ago on Thanksgiving Day, we welcomed our little Hannah Banana into the world. Dave and I ate beef roast that day too before we headed to the hospital. This year Hannah's birthday was on Thanksgiving Day again. And we had beef roast again. Maybe that will be our tradition every year her birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day? Probably not. But it was worth thinking about for a second.

Would you like to hear my weight loss total? Up to 16 pounds. I should feel great about that. But instead I am feeling guilty that I haven't gotten o…

Truths

I have to preface this post by saying I have no time to be writing this. My to-do list is growing by the minute. My day is off to a slow start. Yet all I want to do is take a few minutes to sort out my thoughts. It has been a bit since I last blogged. All those pent up words just HAVE to come out!

Since I last wrote, Dave and I got to FINALLY have our mini-getaway. We were originally supposed to do this in May, but my Mom's first hip replacement surgery got re-scheduled (a familiar problem) and then everything happened with my Dad in July and suddenly it's November. I won't say much about the getaway, but just that it was so wonderful to be alone together and have the chance to re-connect. Can I get an Amen from other parents of young children? Who knew 10 years ago that time alone would be such a treasure?! We don't get it very often, but it was just what the doctor ordered. I came home thanking God all the more for the wonderful man He's blessed me with and for …

In Awe!!

I just had to share my awestruck-ness with you today. (Yes, I'm sure I just made up that word.) God is knocking my socks off right now! I really shouldn't be in awe, I mean not in a surprised kind of way. But certainly a reverential awe would be perfectly acceptable. Well, you get the idea. God is awesome! And today I'm basking in His greatness.

I don't know if it's the catalyst of the "Made to Crave" experience, or the fact that I turned 39. But the fact is, my attitude towards: food, exercise, my body, my failures & struggles...has done a complete 180! God is freeing me from strongholds that I've held onto for so long I thought they were destined to stick around forever. For one thing (and, hold onto your hats here my bloggy friends), I actually ENJOY working out now! I look forward to it! Whoa. Did I just say that?! I went from having my husband occasionally remind me how much better I'd feel if I'd just get on the treadmill for a few …

Resting Assured In Who I am in Christ!

Yesterday afternoon I had the most amazing luxury...time alone! For 20+ minutes I was all alone in the van. As a busy homeschooling mom of 3 that doesn't happen very often! I was so thankful to be able to use most of the time praying out loud to my Abba Father. What incredible peace and joy comes from those moments!

I love how God is teaching me right now. What I came to realize yesterday, is that God is requiring something of me that He's been teaching me my whole life. Something that applies to almost every area of my life! He wanted it when I was a sad & lonely high schooler, He wanted it when I was trying to find my place in life those long & lonely years after college, He wants it every time I start to question who my friends really are. God wants me to want Him. To want Him more than I want anything else in life. To care about what He thinks of me, and not what anyone else does. He wants to be enough. Wow!

In a current situation we're walking through as a fa…

It's Been a GREAT Week!

This has been a really good week. For many reasons, it's been good, but want to know the biggest reason? My thought life. God has been showering me with such grace and love and teaching me how to shower myself with the same. For me...that's HUGE!

I don't normally do this on here, but I just have to make a short list of some of my biggest blessings this week:
worked out on the treadmill five days in a row and actually looked forward to it each time!lost enough weight that I'm down to the next 10's bracket on the scale! (YEAH!!)I'm finally (after over two years of this hanging on the wall in my bedroom) within 4 pounds of being able to start marking my progress on a chart! (I'm motivated by such silly things)God has been helping me to change my internal dialogue (a short statement for a VERY BIG deal!)got to enjoy coffee and great conversation with two different friends on two different nights this week (and had a husband who was excited for me to be able to …

Oh How Much I Love You, Lord!

So, this is going to be brief (LOTS to do this morning), but I just had to give a quick shout-out to the complete awesome-ness of God. (Yes, I really said that.) In my last post I was sharing the difficulty of some changes God sometimes asks us to make. Well, He knew I was having a few minor doubts on whether our family's new path was indeed God-directed. Thankfully, He gave me 100% reassurance out of the clear blue yesterday morning. Thank you Lord! I sure needed that. Boy, did I ever.

Isn't it awesome when you feel God that closely? It makes me fall in love with Him all the more. Makes me want to shout His greatness from the tallest rooftop! We serve an incredible God. There aren't enough words to describe Him. I think I'll ponder all His majesty while I get busy with the morning's to-do list.

As you go through your Wednesday, I pray you're constantly reminded and reassured of Who God is. May your love for Him grow immeasurably this week.

Blessings friends!

Following Him

Oh, change is hard. Isn't it? Some changes, like the ones made on the road to getting healthy, are hard but they produce exciting results. Not immediately, of course, but at some point. Other change, however, is downright stinky. I mean, I'm sure God has a perfectly wonderful plan in all of it...but at first it just seems 100% lacking in any amount of fun or even good reason.  But...sometimes God doesn't ask us to do the fun or reasonable thing. He asks us to do His will. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

In the midst of hard things, it's easy to get caught up in emotions. Feelings. Let our hearts rule us. But, my friends, our feelings often deceive us. In fact, more often than not, that's the case. I'm walking through one of those times right now where my feelings are having a rough go. My feelings, if I allowed them to, could totally get me off the path God is leading our family …

Ready, Set, Go!

Friday mornings seem to make me want to write. I was just thinking about all the things God is teaching me this week, and I thought I better get it on the blog before He reveals much more. My brain can only process so much at one time! I just love how writing helps me organize my thoughts. And my prayer is that maybe some of this will encourage you as well.

As you may already know, I'm on a mission over the next 11+ months. That mission is to become "fit at forty". Turning 39 a few weeks ago means it is time to crank this mission into high gear! Thankfully, my participation in the Lysa TerKeurst "Made to Crave" filming in August got my brain thinking in a new way. And trust me when I say this: my #1 stumbling block on the road to weight loss is my brain. Is it yours? I think women are definitely more prone to struggling in this area. I won't re-hash the whole head game thing (that was a previous post). I'll just say that praise the Lord...God's doing…

I Need This Reminder (Again!)

I'm really struggling with fear today. Remember how I said I wasn't going to live in fear anymore? That it's the opposite of faith? Well, it is rearing its ugly head big time right now. Some is related to our financial journey, some is related to my own personal health goals, but mostly it's related to the fear of losing the ones I love.

My Dad had another appointment with his cardiologist today. I find that every time he has a doctor appointment, I sit on pins and needles waiting to hear the latest news. I can usually tell by the sound in my Mom's voice when she answers the phone whether the news was good. I guess today's news wasn't necessarily bad. The results from his latest cat scan on his lungs showed there was no change from the one he had done in the hospital on July 9th. That's especially good considering that we were worried about some long-term damage from a particularly strong heart drug he was on. The doctor referred them to a new pulmonol…

Lessons I've Learned from the Bjorklund Family

So, my Mom and I have been devouring a series of books by Lauraine Snelling. They're all about a Norwegian family that immigrates to North Dakota and settles there in the late 1800's. This family (the Bjorklunds) are addicting. I'm very sad to be coming to the end of the books. The latest one was released in March of this year, so I'm crossing my fingers that she's not done writing about them though.

It's funny how we even came to know about these books. It was from one of Dad's nurses in the hospital. The fact that Dad is Norwegian brought up the topic one day while she was in his room drawing some blood. I went to the library and got the first one that night I think. Almost three months later, I feel like I'm part of the Bjorklund family.

My Mom says that reading these books is kind of like doing a Bible study, and she's kind of right. The author, a Christian, has created the Bjorklunds to be a very devout Christian family who quotes scripture a…

Giving Myself the Best Birthday Present Ever!

OK, I'll admit it. I am not all that happy about turning another year older tomorrow. The good news is, I still have an entire year before the big 4-0. The bad news is (and I do this every year) I feel like in many ways I haven't made much progress in my life this last year. Do you do that? Both at my birthday and on January 1st, I always get really sappy and start thinking about the year that has passed. Whether it's another year of my life, or another year on the calendar...I'm prone to let the aging effect get me down really easily. I guess even when my kids get older, it's kind of a bittersweet time. I hate how fast they're growing up! Aging and changing...that's just part of the cycle of life. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

I took the kids to see Shrek 3 yesterday morning. The overall moral of the story is to appreciate where you're at and what you have. What a great reminder for me this week! Be thankful for today. Count all my blessin…

Change...It's One Bumpy Ride!

I feel like I'm inside an hour glass filled with sand, and someone just turned my world upside down. I can't stand up because my footing is slipping away...faster each moment. Life in our home is full of a lot of changes right now. Some are changes that have come upon family members and are just the inevitable sign of age, while others are changes that we as a family have begun to make because of the leading of God. But none of these changes are all that fun. All of them can fill me with fear and trepidation if I allow myself to get caught up into them and forget where my assurance lies. I'm having one of those moments right now.

The seemingly downward spiral of my Dad's health is filling me with such fear and even bitterness, I just don't know how to process it some days. Because my parents are the age of most of my friends' grandparents, I've always struggled with knowing I was going to walk this path earlier than most of my friends. And earlier than my b…

FEAR Not!

I just love it when you see God moving (even when you can't tell just what He's up to quite yet). The last two days I've been one of 20 lucky ladies who got to be part of Lysa TerKeurst's studio audience. She was filming the DVD sessions for her brand new Bible study (coming out in December), called "Made to Crave." It was evident to me from the moment I found out I was going to be part of this that God was up to something. He ordained each of us to be there...and we each had our own personal reason of why.

My reason seemed obvious: my lifelong struggle with weight. The funny part though, is that when I offered to be part of this, I had NO idea what the Bible study was even going to be. I just knew I loved Lysa. Well, God has spoken to me in so many ways during the last two days, that I am still processing all of it.

Here's what really struck me on the way home: I was able to be refreshed. I mean, if you know me and have kept up with the happenings in m…

Yahtzee Anyone?!

Have you ever had one of those times in your life where you feel like one of the dice in a Yahtzee game, and God just took you and all your "well-thought out plans" and shook you around for awhile and then tossed you onto the table? I kind of feel that way now. Well, no, that's exactly how I feel now. My summer did NOT turn out anything like I thought. And now summer is almost over, and the beginning of year two of homeschooling is NOT turning out how I thought (for starters, I'm not mentally prepared for this yet). And then add to that several other things in my life that I feel are being tossed and turned upside down. I feel like I can only think about one day at a time. Or maybe one half of a day at a time (depends on the day).

As I'm pondering all these forks in the road and uncertainties, I'm reminded of something very reassuring: God is still God. He hasn't changed one bit. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He just IS! The road of life…

Scary Journey

Oh what a crazy 11 days this has been! I'm an emotional train wreck. I don't even have the energy to fully re-cap the events of the last 11 days. I'll just say this: Dad had a small heart attack on the 9th, went by ambulance to the Zeeland ER, found out everything going on and was transferred on the 10th to the Meijer Heart Center, spent 7 days in the hospital waiting for his turn to have open heart surgery, had a quadruple bypass on the 16th, and is now in the very slowly progressing and highly painful recovery process. Wow. Even that mini recap wore me out.

As I was preparing to spend all day Friday at the hospital for his surgery, one of the things I did was look up a bunch of Bible verses on fear and comfort. There is one that really jumped out at me. It was Zephaniah 3:17 ~ The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  It brings an image to mind of a Mom …

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

So what do you think of the new blog colors? Thought it was time to play around with the look of it. Maybe with all this pink I need to stick to black for my font color though. Kind of gives it a very hip look, don't you think?

I am currently enjoying some time at home alone. Alone! I'm so happy. I had thoughts of doing some housework and even taking a nap, but blogging sounded like a better idea at the moment. Maybe I can actually have an insightful thought without anyone interrupting me! Well, there is the dog, but he's currently napping under my chair. Oh, and I have the garage door closed, so maybe the neighborhood kids won't think we're home either. Aaahhh...

Well, yesterday we did something we hardly ever do as a family: go to the beach. I've never been much of a beach fan, but I put "going to the beach at least monthly" on my summer goals list. I just decided that it is silly to live this close to beautiful Lake Michigan and not take advantage of…

Time to Switch on My Brain Again!

Well, I did it again. I lost focus of my goal. And it wasn't a temporary loss of focus, it was like a month (or more). How do I do this? I feel like the fish, Dorie, in Finding Nemo. She's so easily taken off track on their journey to find Nemo. It's pretty funny all the clueless things she does...until you see how upset Nemo's Dad is and how much he just wants to stay focused on finding his missing son. And, after all, who can blame him? But poor Dorie just can't keep it all together. That's how I feel.

The goals I have in life (like most everyone, I suppose) are many. But this one goal that keeps slipping from my eyesight is in the area of my personal health journey. This weight that has plagued me since grade school. This weight loss goal that has changed dates so many times, I hate to even put a date on it anymore. I have a very BIG weight loss goal in mind for my 40th birthday (in 15 months). But a mini weight loss goal in mind for my 39th. I've had th…

Enough with all the Worry!!

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I've been sucked into the land of worry. I know it is a waste of my time and I know God commands us NOT to worry. I also know that worry/fear are the exact opposite of faith. Yet, here I am fighting this worry bug so strongly that I wish they sold "worry bug spray." I thought if I took a few minutes to write about this, I'd get some clarity and peace of mind.

Here are some great verses on the topic:

Proverbs 12:25 ~ An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:27-30 ~ Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.…

Gettin' a Grip!

I have to start out by saying how blessed I am for the amazing friends I have in my life. It was so awesome last night to share the evening (all of it...'til midnight!) with two of our favorite families. Our kids all have a blast and the adults do too. It's just so nice to be able to "chill" with some great friends. No pressure. No hype. No expectations. Just fun. Love that!

Well, if you read this &/or my facebook page lately, you may have noticed me venting and being very stressed/overwhelmed. Can I take a second to vent about my venting? I process things often by writing or talking them out with my husband or venting on my FB page. I was told by someone on Friday to basically get over it and shut up. Well, in time, I always do "get over it". But can I just say...if you don't want to hear me venting, no one is making you read my posts! Please don't tell me to stop venting on my own FB page or blog. It's my personal therapy at times. If you …

I Vant to Be Alone!!

I am in desperate need of a personal battery recharging. How do you recharge your batteries? For me, it begins by having time alone. Well, no wonder I feel so emotionally empty...I haven't had alone time in so long I don't even remember the last time it was! I'm either homeschooling or working at the bank or attending kids/Dave's sports activities or taking care of other personal/family matters. Alone? What's that?!  I'm having one of those days today (the last couple have been leading up to it, but today is the worst) where I feel like my nerves are going to jump right out of my skin. The anxiety and stress that is within me can't seem to be calmed. I tried doing Bible study, but the kids were right there in the room with me listening to the Go Fish Guys and dancing around (normally not a problem, but today...not so great). Then I tried my usual "quiet time with God in the shower" trick...but I was interrupted by Hannah barging in asking if she c…

"Give me this day, my daily bread..."

Boy, has it been a rather stressful couple of weeks! I've been feeling the past couple of days like running away from home...just for a chance to be alone and not be needed for a bit. Not that I would, but I kind of want to. I'm sitting here pondering why I'm responding this way, and I think I've already come up with the answer. What is it? I know I have been neglecting my quiet time with God. I've been trying to have my "quiet" time with God amidst the oh-so-crazy moments of my daily life. Rather than taking special time for God, I've been trying to squeeze Him into my already filled-up time. No wonder I'm sitting here feeling a bit empty and on-edge.

I guess this post could be a quick one, since I've already found the cause for my stress. But, really, the "causes" were more like these things: my Mom's hip replacement surgery, then the things that followed her surgery like: visiting her at the hospital and seeing her SO not her u…

Fulfilling My Calling? (or missing the clues?)

Here's what's on my mind today: how do you know where God wants you to focus your energy? I'm talking the BIG picture here. Aside from being a good wife and mother (and all the "jobs" that fall under those two categories), how does God want me to use the rest of my time? And, maybe even more on target, how do you know if the thing you're doing is THE thing God wants you to be focusing your energies on? I guess this post is all about our calling. How do we know when we're following where He's trying to lead us?!

Why am I pondering such things today? This whole concept has been on my heart for a few months, and lately it seems to rise to the surface daily. I guess that means this is, in fact, something God is trying to guide me in. He wants my attention. (Well, He certainly has it.) I've had lots of moments lately of thinking that God has blessed me with certain gifts, and it would be silly (and even sinful) to not make use of the gifts He's give…