Thursday, March 22, 2012

Perfectly Loved...

I *heart*  Their products truly are uplifting and encouraging.  Surfing their website is so comforting to me.  It somewhat reminds me of walking into any Christian book store (from the comfort of my couch and pjs).  There is just some sort of soothing and healing rejuvenation when you browse through Christian resources.

Every few months or so, my friends at DaySpring send me items to review on my blog.  In return, all that is asked of me is that I give you my honest opinion of their products.  There is no better advertisement than word of mouth, and well....I've got a really big mouth.  

This month DaySpring sent me a set of mugs to review:
Perfectly Loved...what a sweet reminder that I'm not expected to be "perfect" when I am perfectly  loved already.  I think the only thing that could make me love this mug more is if it were jumbo size (and filled with my new favorite coffee, Hills Bros. Cappuccino French Vanilla.
And look at this....
...even as you drink your lost drop of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or whatever, you are still  reminded that you are loved.

But my favorite part is this.... adorns the sweet message....

"She didn't have to be perfect because she was perfectly loved." (1 John 4:8) 

If you ask me (and I realize you didn't) those are words of wisdom we all can use from time to time.  How often do we try to be perfect?  From the perfect wife to the perfect mother to the perfect friend to the perfect Christian.  It's impossible to be perfect, and being imperfect just happens to be okay.  Do you want to know why it's okay?  We are perfectly loved anyway.

And if I failed to get the point the first time, DaySpring also sent me this as a "don't you get it, knucklehead?" second reminder...

This may just be my favoirte review so far =)

Instead of offering a give away, I decided that these sweet reminders will be door prizes for our next Women of Grace event at Winkler's Grove Baptist Church.  We will be having a "Daughters of the King" breakfast in May 2012.  These events are always filled with wonderful fellowship and tons of food.  Join us, will you?  We'd love to have you!

Disclaimer: All items listed above were provided by free of charge. All opinions expressed here are my own.

RWW: Timing is Everything

This chapter is about giving your best instead of half-hearted leftovers.  Wow!?!  I'm super guilty when it comes to half-hearted leftovers.  What about you?  Its about the part of changing "the playing field of this resolution:  Getting clarity on your primary roles." (page 93)  I loved this part:  "If you do your best, for example, but you expend much of it on the wrong things, you've not only wasted a lot of your energy and resources; you've also lost time and opportunities you may never recover." (page 94)

It uses the example in the latter part of the Old Testament after many Hebrews "had returned to their native homeland from exile." (age 94)  The Lord spoke to the people through Haggai to question the priorities of the Hebrews as they were rebuilding their nation and lives.  The people were spending a considerable amount of time on their own lavish dwellings rather than rebuilding the house of the LORD.

Priorities.  Out of order.  Exactly what Preacher Devin taught Sunday School on this week!  Hello, Godstop!

God knew that the people needed to rebuild their homes.  This was an honorable request.  God wasn't upset by what they were doing as much as He was troubled by when.  Obviously, rebuilding the temple which was destroyed ("thereby restoring the worship of God to a place of prominence in their lives" (page 95) was of greater priority to the LORD at that particular moment. 

Ask a wise, honest friend who know you well how she thinks you're managing your current priorities:

Friend 1:
"Actually, not being with you all the time, I will base my opinion on what I do know about you. You ALWAYS prioritized and managed everything, including relationships, to the best of your ability. You always took time to think it through and I always wished I could be half as good as you at managing all you do!!!

I love you lots and hope this answer is exactly what you needed. Of course, there is always room for improvement but we all know those are the areas we would rather people not know about so if you have those then you might want to list them."

Friend 2:
"Well I can honestly say that you manage your priorities really well, and I admire you more and more everyday for doing everything that you do and everything that you have already accomplished.  You have always been someone that I looked up to and you are my encouraging "best" friend that I need in my life each and everyday to remind me that I can do it too!  Just by watching you, I've learned a lot with each passing year! Love you and I hope this answer is what you were looking for!"

And just because I am gluten for punishment (HA!), I also asked my husband: 
But he hasn't really given me a strait answer.  All he will say is that oftentimes HE tends to put the kids before me.  So I'm not really sure if that was a thought I needed to read between the lines of or not.  Regardless, I'm guilty of this too. 
As you think about those things you want to do but can never seem to make time for, remember the biblical appeal that says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).  How could this deliberate act of trust and perspective free you to invest yourself more joyfully in today?
Actually it makes me feel a little less overwhelmed.  I don't think I've ever really looked at "stuff" that way.  It seems that no matter what I do, there is still stuff to be completed.  I have unfinished scrap books of both boys; I've purchased about 10 books for my Kindle that I "eventually" plan to read; I need to do so many things...yet, there are so many things that can wait.  Instead of stressing over having a spot-less home, our home is lived in.  I've learned to push laundry to the side and instead play with my boys.  I'm watching less TV...My to-do lists are sitting on the counter for each Wednesday that I'm off work.  I have been more joyful...I guess you can say, I've been trusting God that there will be a "later" to do all of the stuff I can't fit in my schedule right now.  Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RFW: Boxes

Continuing on with my Resolutions for Women (you can read more about that here), I was intrigued when today's chapter was titled "Boxes."  Let me give you a snippet of the wisdom which can be found in this short lesson.

"These boxes...are symbolic of activities of one's life, the various undertakings into which we must invest our time, talent, and energy.  Our tendency is to try keeping them just this way--equally filled with identical amounts of ourselves and our effort.  This, we think, is what balance looks like."  (page 91)

That is exactly how I picture balance!

"But in reality, this is the picture of a woman overworked, frustrated, and exhausted.  A life out of balance."  (page 91)

Umm...Excuse me?

"The way that we achieve to consider prayerfully God's priorities for us in this current season of life and then rearrange the boxes accordingly--pushing some of them into the background, bringing others to the front.  Into these primary boxes we place the best of ourselves and our effort, while perhaps totally emptying some of the others--at least temporarily--not because they're of any less overall significance but because they're not where we need to be allocating the best of our abilities and attention for the time being." (page 91)

I don't know about you, but the simplicity of this wisdom totally floored me.  I found myself continually shaking my head in agreement as I read. "Yes, this sounds like me....yes....yes....that's me too."

If you have a tendency to spread yourself too thinly, in what kind of state does this typically tend to leave you at the end of the day or the start of a new week?

Worn out, ill tempered, and stressed out.  I am the world's worst for taking on too much.  I've only recently learned to say "no."  During the bible study I am in, I have decided to give up Facebook which is freed up a great deal of my time.  I am still worn out, ill tempered, and stressed out--but it obviously gave me one less "priority" (and I use the term loosely).  Basically, I have realized that I have made unnecessary priorities.    So, my days are slowly getting better.  However, on those days when I spread myself too thinly, it begins my day/week off on the wrong foot.  Unfortunately, I tend to take it out on the people I love most. So, to be fair, I guess you could say it begins their day/week off on the wrong foot too.

Label each box with one of the different responsibilities of your life.  (Add  more if you need to.)  Color in each one according to the level of time and effort you invest.  Compare them and prayerfully consider if your priorities reflect God's intentions for you in this season of your life.

I'll make a list here rather than make boxes.  I'll list the amount of time and effort by percentages, so you'll get the idea.

1.  Family - 40%
2. Church, Growing Spiritually - 15%
3. Work - 30%
4. Learning Sign Language - 7% 
5. Other - 5% (cleaning,shopping, etc)
6.  Blogging - 3%

Wow, Lord.  As I evaluate this list, I almost feel disappointed by the fact that only about 15% of my time is spent going to church or growing spiritually.  This number seems more on the "just enough" side than anything else.  I've always felt as if I pushed my family on the back burner.  As you can see, I have taken off a few semesters from school, which is why school wasn't a box of its own for the list above.  I know that postponing school has been good for my family commitments, and I pray Lord that one day I'll be able to add school back to my priority list.  For now, the majority of my waking hours are spent with my family--and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Another huge time commitment for me is work.  I am so blessed to finally have a job that when I clock out for the day, I can leave work at work.  My new job has been so great for me.  I am loving my new department and work environment.  I am loving working four 10-hr days.  I am loving that my day off, Wednesdays, I have the entire day to myself so I can clean our house or do whatever needs to be done.  I really believe that this change in work environment has been a huge mood booster for me. 

My newest box is teaching myself to sign fluently.  I'm practicing every free moment I get, actually.  For those of you I've asked to pray about this--please continue to do so.

Surprisingly, I do believe that my current priorities reflect God's intentions for me in this season of my life.  I feel that I could (and should) spend more time growing spiritually.  At this time, I believe I am in a season of growth--spiritually and personally.  There will always be room for improvement, but I am content where I am right now with the "things" I am allowing to take precedence in my life.  I am being more intentional about spending my time wisely.  I prayerfully continue to seek Your guidance Lord to direct my steps.  Where I would typically spread myself too thin, Lord, I ask you to humbly remind me of this commitment so that I make better decisions regarding my time, talent, and energy. 


I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.