Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Clay Jars

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

New International Version (NIV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

How is it that I've never seen this before?? As I was reading this verse this morning I suddenly read it differently than ever before.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Think about it. Clay jars are not made to take that kind of abuse! They will break if you press them hard on every side. However, it's the treasure that we have inside us that keeps us from being crushed. Only God is able to do this and it highlights HIS all-surpassing power. He gets the glory. Amazing!!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Found the Key to My Weight Loss!

I've been in a terrible habit of NOT grocery shopping. As a result, my hubby would end up going every evening to the grocery store to find something quick for dinner. That food was expensive and not healthy. I finally decided that it was time for me to buckle down and get serious about making sure we have a menu and groceries for the week.

My main issue is trying to come up with meals. Then my friend pointed me to a website that has a ton of wonderful crockpot meals called Mommy's Fabulous Finds. Now I had an arsenal of recipes to choose from to get myself out of this rut. Now to conquer the Issue of getting a weekly grocery list made. I decided to do a web search to see what was available online in the way of recipe databases with an auto grocery list generator. Jackpot!! I found just what I was looking for! 

Plan to Eat was developed and is run by a husband and wife team. It has a widget that allows me to quickly add recipes I find online to my database. I can also manually enter my own recipes. This program has saved me so much time and money. It has enabled me to stick to my resolution of going grocery shopping weekly.

I'm also loosing weight as a result of not eating that expensive, unhealthy convenience food. Avoiding sweets is helping as well. Strength training and running is also having an effect on my weight loss. I'm at the age that it has become harder to loose weight without a LOT of hard work and sweat. It is so encouraging to finally see my weight going down for a change.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Delving into My Aspieness

I just found this blog written by an autism specialist named Tania Marshall. In this particular post she lists the First Signs of Asperger Syndrome in Young Girls Pre-school. I was so tempted to reproduce her list and make my comments here. However, that is illegal (called plagiarism) and that is also the lazy way.

I did recognize a LOT of myself in her list but not in every item. People who knew me when I was that age may look at this same list and say, "Oh, yeah, she did that for sure!" to something that I simply don't remember doing. I mean, how many of us really remember our preschool years??

I will comment on some of the things on her list which I most strongly identify with:

  • Sensory Sensitivities: I've always had issues with this. I remember when I was in elementary school I had to have MY special pillow and pillow case. The pillow case was extra soft (made from a gunny sack, if there is anyone out there who remembers what those were!) I would NOT accept any other. I still have have to have MY pillow. This is just one small example out of many sensory issues I have.
  • Speech: My mother had me in speech therapy when I was in elementary school. I used to insist on my own "special" pronunciation of words like "Belbow" for elbow.
  • Hyperlexia: When I was learning to read in 1st grade, I was SO excited about it that I came home every day and taught my little sister (13 months younger than me) what I'd learned that day. She was reading on a 2nd grade level by the time she hit Kindergarden and I had been her teacher!
  • Play: In the lower elementary years, I remember trying to play with the girls my age and being frustrated because they didn't want to play the way I wanted to. So I played with the boys instead and had a grand time pretending rocks were cars on that old rock retaining wall.
  • Appearance and clothing: Those who attended school with me from 1st through 12th can attest to the fact that I had my very own sense of style. Maybe it's the fact that I'd attended school with these same kids for so many years that I didn't get teased even more about that than I did.
  • Imagination: I was an AVID reader as a girl. I often read and enjoyed books many grade levels over my own.
  • Writing: I was intensely interested in writing and wrote many of my own stories. I'm sure I would have written much more had I had the luxury of using a computer instead of my spiral notebooks and pencil.
  • Determination: Oh, my gosh!! Do I fit this one to a tee!! I am still one of the most stubborn and competitive people you will meet.
  • Attention Issues: I spent the majority of my childhood hanging out in my own world. All the way up into my college years, I had a rich fantasy life in my mind and preferred to spend time there rather than in the real world.
  • Hyperempathy: I still struggle with this one. I can get choked up over the craziest things.
Add to these things the general social awkwardness that always accompanies the aspie and it is a wonder to me that I was never diagnosed. I have absolutely no doubt that I am an aspie and don't feel the need as an adult to be diagnosed. I would sure love to get feedback from people who knew me as a kid on the list I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Eeek!! I'm a microwave Christian!!

Like so many people my age, I am a certain product of my generation. We are the generation that saw the microwave enter nearly every American home. We are the generation of "I want it all and I want it NOW!" Remember that song?? 

I see this in several areas of my life. My weight loss for sure! Who of us doesn't want to see the weight come off overnight? Even as much as I tell myself that is not healthy even if I could find a way to make it happen, I STILL want it to happen that way. Even worse, I still get discouraged when the weight doesn't come off as quickly as I'd like to see.

I see it in my parenting. I want to be able to tell my kids how things are supposed to be and have them follow and obey without question. Anyone who has kids (especially teenagers) knows this is NOT how it happens. You have to train them and correct them, then train them and then correct them again. At times it feels like they are never going to get it. But we have to stick with it and they don't become well adjusted, with a good work ethic, high morals and great character over night. It takes years of patient parenting to get to that point.

I realized this past week that I see it in my running too. It's hard for me to slow down and build up to faster speeds and greater endurance because "I want it all, and I want it now!" On ever run I go for now, I remind have to myself to take it slow and steady. I'm going to have to crochet myself a tiny turtle to take on my runs to remind myself of this. Again, it's the patient building of muscles and endurance through many practice runs. This takes time.

I also see it in my prayer life. I've been wanting to learn to pray more effectively and not be so bored in prayer and not have my mind wander as it tends to when I'm trying to converse with Jesus. I got discouraged when I tried to pray the way Daniel Henderson outlines Worship based prayer. 

What I think I failed to recognize is that much like my running, I am in prayer training. It's going to take patient building of my prayer 'muscles and endurance'. That is of course assuming that I'm going into prayer with the correct motivations and with a clean heart before my Lord. But that is a totally different discussion.

So basically the Lord is teaching me to slow down and listen for HIS leading instead of running off half cocked barely having any idea what direction I'm even going.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I have not wanted to post to this because we have had such a tough time staying consistent to doing school the last couple of months. I prefer for my posts to be uplifting and encouraging, however I also desire to be real and transparent. It's not always easy to find that balance. I'll just share what God has been doing in me over the past couple of months.

I shared about my second fall and messing up my knee two posts ago. To make a long story short, I bruised my kneecap which means that it will be a long time before it feel normal again. In the meantime, I've been allowed to go back to running. Praise God!! I am doing my best to take it slowly and not push myself too hard, too fast.

So I'd been back to running for two weeks when my hubby came home feeling like he was coming down with a cold on a Thursday. All that night he ran a temperature and stayed home Friday from work. By Saturday, I was beginning to feel like I was coming down with it too. By Sunday I was running a temperature as well. Went to the doctor on Monday and was told that I had an upper respiratory infection. I wasn't the only one who came down with MyHero's cold. All 3 kids came down with it as well. Even the dog was sneezing! We spent the week of Thanksgiving hunkered down and quarantined from the rest of the world. Praise God that my hubby already had the week off. He had asked for it off months before.

Due to all the sickness and perhaps from just being so inactive, I've been fighting depression again. The enemy tries to tell me that I'm a terrible mom and that I'm failing at homeschooling my kids. Never mind the fact that we've been sick and that I had scheduled this week off from school! I refused to give in to the lies and kept reminding myself of the truth.

This morning is Sunday and I was home sick with sick kids. I listened to our church service live via internet connection. I was so glad that I did! One of the things the speaker discussed was fighting depression and how we can choose to praise and be thankful instead of believing the lies.

Another thing that God has been impressing on my heart is to spend more of my time seeking Him. I want to seek for Him as for hidden treasure. I want to seek for Him as for the thing that is going to save my life. "As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God." Psalm 42

The way that is walking out for me is by listening to all the recorded sermons from Genesis to Revelation from our church. I must confess that since I've been sick I haven't been very consistent with this. I think the enemy of my soul recognizes that I'm on a path to blessing from the Lord and doesn't want that for me.

Yet another thing the Lord has been laying on my heart is a desire to see unbelievers come to know Him. I want to be used to bring them to Jesus. As a stay at home, homeschool mom I don't get many opportunities for that. However, I do have this blog and I have my Facebook. Therefore, I'm recommissioning this blog to the purpose of sharing what God chooses to teach me through His Word. I pray that this will be used to bring others to Him!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why I'm Not Making My Kids Do Dishes Anymore

You are more than welcome to disagree with me, but I have chosen NOT to make my kids do dishes anymore. The way I see it, they have plenty of other chores to teach them responsibility. 

They each are responsible to do their own laundry, ManBoy is charged with taking out the trash, Fashionista is to keep the bathroom sparkling, and RoboBoy's job is to keep the floors swept and clean. In addition they are each tasked with keeping their rooms and computer areas clean. Yes, we have more than one computer, in fact each child has access to one to use during the day. They also have various smaller chores to keep up with such as helping to care for the critters.

The main reason I'm not letting them do dishes anymore is because I got fed up with never having a clean kitchen. There seemed to always be dirty dishes, and messy countertops. As a result, we've had an issue with ants causing us to have to keep our bread, peanut butter and other ant attractors in the refrigerator. Clean dishes were rarely put back where they belonged. I felt like my kitchen was constantly in a state of disorder which totally stresses me out.

I also feel that, by doing the dishes myself, my kids can see that I'm doing something to contribute to keeping our home clean and orderly. Not that I didn't before, but this is a more tangible contribution. This should help them to feel less 'used' or like mom is just giving them all the work to do.

So as I said, you are welcome to disagree with me on this, but my kids are no longer allowed to do dishes in our house. Well, except on rare occasions. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sidelined for Jesus

I shared in my last post about falling and scraping myself up pretty badly. As a runner, it is hard to let yourself be down for very long. I was recovering well and saw no reason not to be out running. Besides that, I had an important race coming up. It was the official kick off race for our running team, Calvary Chapel Running Team. 

So this past Wednesday I was out doing one of my training runs. Since my last 5k (3.1 mi) race had been so difficult to complete I had decided to clock a 5k on my own working on endurance more than speed. I was near the end of my 5k and still doing well and feeling very proud of myself when it happened again! Even as I was going down I was thinking to myself, "OH, NO!! NOT again!!" 

I'm pretty sure it was either the same location as the first fall or very close to it. As I sat there gathering the strength to get back up and assessing the damage, I felt overwhelming discouragement. I just wanted to sit there and cry and cry. I was also feeling angry. I'm not real sure who or what I was angry with but I was MAD!!!

I did manage to get up and limp home again. Even tried to run for a short way. Yes, I'm THAT hard headed! Quickly realized that my injuries were to much for that. Once I got home and got a good look at my injuries, I realized that my left knee was in pretty bad shape. What had been just a minor bruise after the first fall was now swollen about twice it's normal size and had very limited range of motion.


Since then, I've been doing my best to stay off that leg, keeping it elevated and icing it. After 4 days fighting depression, discouragement, and boredom that knee is still swollen and painful. So much so that I stayed home from church in order to keep it propped up. Praise God that our church broadcasts the services live over the internet. There was a special speaker who is a special friend to our church, Daniel Henderson. I'm sure that his message spoke to many others as well, but it was one of those that felt like it was especially for me. You can hear it at: http://www.ccstpete.com/living-word-media/teaching/index.cfm?tape_id=GS3352.

Of all things, the message was titled, "Don't Just Do Something! Sit There!" That's precisely what I'm being forced to do. I guess I'm one of those who is so stubborn that God has to sideline me to get my attention! You've heard of the proverbial frying pan to the head! After hearing this message, I have a new purpose to my recovery. I'm convinced that God wants to use this time to teach me to pray effectively. Not those boring, struggling to stay focused, God here's my list of requests prayers, but reaching the heart of God, worship saturated prayers.

At this point, I have no idea how long my recovery will be, whether weeks or months. I need to see the doctor for some kind of prognosis on that, but I'm going to try make the most of this time sitting at the feet of Jesus.