Friday, March 30, 2012

Breakfast with the King

I'm sure that many of you juggle the numerous daily tasks of caring for children, keeping the house in order, and working.  More women work outside of the home now than even 10 years ago.  It seems like it takes two incomes in most cases to keep a household going.  No one knows better about how to multi-task than a woman.  Not to say that men can't handle it, just women seem to be a little better at it.  Speaking of multi-tasking, I spend my time reading my Bible in the mornings.  After the kids are off to school and there is peace and quiet in the house I am able to focus on the words of my Lord.  I have a favorite chair that I sit in near the window where the sunlight peeks through the blinds and illuminates my Bible like a highlighter pen from God.  I usually prepare my breakfast before I sit down to study and yesterday it dawned on me, I am having breakfast with the King.  I initially started doing things this way because it saved time for me to do two things at once and now it has become a great habit for me.  I get my Bible study in as well as my breakfast.  I am not distracted by how hungry I am feeling or how I need to hurry and get my studies done so that I can rush off to the next task.  It's just me having coffee and breakfast with God's word.  I used to think that I didn't have time to study in the mornings.  I know that for me, starting the day with scripture helps me to get in the right frame of mind for the day.  Other people study at night and rest peacefully in the words of the Bible.  There is no right or wrong way to go about it, just as long as you do it.  Sometimes tweaking your schedule a bit can allow time for lots of things.

Blessings to all,

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."  Colossians 3:1-4

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just being mom

About a year ago our Sunday School class went through the Financial Peace University series by Dave Ramsey for a second time.  We all really enjoyed the series and quite frankly, who couldn't use financial advice from a professional?  We'll take all we can get.  One of the things that has stayed stuck in my mind since that series is a question that he asked toward the end of the videos.  If money didn't matter and you could do anything you wanted for a living, what would you do?  I have pondered my answer to this question so many times that I have lost count.  You see, I am one of those people that has more ideas than money.  I can come up with what I think are the most amazing ideas and plan out all the ways in which to execute them only to be stopped by the factor of money.  I have prayed many times asking God's will in my life and I feel so lost.  Then I started thinking about that question again.  What would I do if money didn't matter? 

I have discovered that the things I enjoy the most are: getting up with the kids in the morning and actually sitting down for breakfast before school.  Having dinner at the table with my family every night.  I enjoy my quiet time during the day while they are gone.  I like to read fiction books.  I enjoy cooking, decorating cakes and cookies (although I'm no pro at it) and preparing meals for my family.  I love making crafts and fun things for teacher gifts.  I want to be more involved in my kids school activities.  I like to enjoy the fresh air in the morning with a bike ride, a walk, or a run.  I love spring time.  I love to read a Bible story with my kids at bedtime.  So, where does that lead me in answer of the question?  I guess I just enjoy being a mom.  Too bad moms don't make paychecks huh?  I feel good when the house is clean and laundry is all caught up for the family.  I like the fact that I don't feel the stress of "work" when I am just being a mom.  I am my own boss and if things don't get done, I only have myself to blame.  I may not know God's plan for my life but, I do know that I feel good when I am just being a mom.  In the book of Proverbs, God tells us to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  So, if I spend my time teaching my children about God's word then they will hold on to that from now on.  When they hear me praying for them, or see me turning to the Bible for daily devotion or comfort in times of trouble and inspiration in times of renewal, they will do the same.  Raising kids can be a struggle and I may not always do it "right" but, I try to do it according to God's will so that they will have a good foundation to build on. 

Blessings to all,

"She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.'  Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates."  Proverbs 31:27-31

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bible is my GPS

Last week was spring break here for our schools and my kids have made a tradition of spending time with their grandmother (my mom) during that week.  She lives in Texas so we usually meet halfway for the drop off/pick up.  The kids had a wonderful week with their grandparents and got to do lots of fun and amazing things.  When Friday rolled around it was time for me to meet up with them and bring the kiddos home.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a little ditsy and prone to getting lost very easily.  I even use my GPS in Oklahoma City sometimes to get from one shopping place to the next.  So I rely heavily on directions from my little friend.  The kids and I call her Lola (like in the movie RV).  We love Lola, she can always find where we are, and then helps us get exactly where we are going.  Anyway, I plugged Lola in and set my destination so that she could instruct me on every turn and exit.  Then I waited for her to obtain the GPS signal so that we could get started.  I made it safe and sound to the Oklahoma/Texas line and picked up the kids.  After enjoying good conversation with my mom and step-dad we hopped in the car and headed back home. 

On long road trips I get a lot of time to think about things and it dawned on me how similar the Bible is to a GPS.  God knows our hearts and He knows where we should start.  He finds our GPS location and sends the signal to us.  Then He leads us to the places in the Bible that we need to focus on to become better Christians, better parents, better spouses, and so on.  Just this morning I was reading in the book of Malachi.  I never really just open the Bible to the book of Malachi for whatever reason but, today God called me to start in chapter one.  I discovered how similar the world is now in comparison to Israel then.  So many times tithes may be what is left over after the bills are paid.  Our study time may be whatever we can "squeeze" in during our busy day.  There may be no real devotion to our study of God's word.  The people of Israel were sacrificing lame animals that were of no real use.  They were offering the bread in a defiled manner.  They were not giving their best to God so what was the real sacrifice.  You know, God sent his one and only, perfect, blameless, sinless son to die in our place.  The least we can do is to give God our best.  He deserves that and even more.  God doesn't want our leftovers.  I know that I could never fathom giving either of my sons up for anyone else for any reason.  Yet, God did that for us and Jesus took that burden because He loves us unconditionally.  I hope one day to be able to stand at my masters feet and humbly bow and thank Him for loving me that much. 

Blessings to all,

"'For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the nations', says the Lord of hosts."  Malachi 1:11

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Out of Shape!

For those of you who read our blog regularly you know I am the health nut who recently battled a kidney stone.  All is well now and the stone is gone.  One of the difficulties I faced was the fact that I was unable to exercise as strenuously as I had up to that point.  Well, once I got the all clear from the urologist (the kidney doctor) I got the bright idea to pick up with exercise right where I left off.  Oh!  I should really think before I act!  I bought a mountain bike around the first of February and I had been riding a little prior to my stone so, I decided to hop on the ole bike and take off for a healthy spin.  I wear a heart rate monitor when I workout (thanks to research and suggestions from Anita) and I have a range that I try to stay in for aerobic burn.  Off I went on my journey.  I rode around one of my old neighborhoods that I thought would be fairly easy.  There were some hills but nothing that I felt I couldn't handle.  Boy was I wrong.  I huffed and puffed and pedaled and sweat for 30 minutes up hills that were never that difficult when I was better physically conditioned.  My heart rate monitor beeped at me like it was begging for mercy from the constant upward battle I was attempting and I came to the realization that the 3 weeks I had not been able to exercise had left me very out of shape. 

I compare my bike riding experience to the times I have neglected my Bible study.  Maybe that sounds strange but, it's true.  It seems like some days can start out so busy and I fail to start with my study time.  It's easy to get our spiritual lives out of shape just like we get out of shape physically.  I never mean to neglect my study time although, I have learned that I do allow other things to get in the way of it sometimes. When things are going well I seem to place my studies on the back burner however, when the going gets tough the Bible is the first place I go.  I know this is not the way Jesus intended our relationship to be so, how do we get back in shape?  Open our Bibles daily and read, study, pray, ask questions, go to church and fellowship with other Christians.  Just like exercising with a buddy can help us be more accountable, so does surrounding ourselves with other Christians.  I may not be perfect every day but I am working on my spiritual muscles too!

"For you were bought for a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's."  1 Corinthians 6:20

Blessings to all,