Better Me

I have not been hard on myself lately in terms of diet and exercise.  There are perks to this…more sleep, more time, less stress, etc.  There are also downfalls…slight weight gain (though not too bad), less routine, less commitment, worse shape.  Most noted though is that since I used to wake up at dawn to work out, that was also when I would do my quiet time, devos, etc.  Those have been shortened lately, and while I continue to focus upward and spend time in the Word, I am not doing nearly what I could be…or should be.  Not entirely directly related…I feel guilty when I pig out…not just because I feel gross, but I feel like a glutton.  I do believe that it is sinful to overeat and/or not take care of your body (your temple) in the manner in which we are called.

Hence, I am coming back to my blog to keep me accountable in improving my time with my Savior, who deserves every millisecond of my life, as well as improving my diet/exercise (which as I said, is not terrible, but could use a little kick).  I am going to keep it simple.  I find it amusing that there are so many diets and eating plans that claim to be different, but truly are the same…or awfully similar.  Diet = a way of eating.  Diet does not = starving yourself.  Most diets ask for 80% or more effort.  Most diets encourage protein and veggies to fill up your plate.  The biggest difference in many diets are the issues or grains and dairy, but if you are following whichever diet you choose at 80%, then putting 20% of dairy or grains in your day or week is not big deal.  I digress…I did say I would keep it simple.

Each day I will come on and put up a verse, a scripture, a question or a brief commentary of something I have read in the Bible or from a devotional book or a study book.  Each day I will eat no more than 1500 calories…aiming for heavy proteins, veggies, water and green tea.  Each day I will do a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise.  Sundays will be my day off of workouts and calorie counting.  Anyone who would like to come along on this journey with me, just reply to my daily posts and we can get better together!  🙂  I am convicted to be better for Jesus (not that anything good is of me, it is all of Him) but I want to commit to being better for Him, for my family and for me.

Pharisee

Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
‘Cause they’re not fair you see
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee

My friends and I are doing the Prodigal God (by Timothy Keller) Bible Study.  It is very convicting…pointing out that the Prodigal Son is not only about the wayward son, but even more so about the older brother.  The older brother is too prideful, jealous, unforgiving and angry to go into the feast at the end of the parable.  We have to be careful not to be too judgmental or too prideful, as well as being careful not to break all the rules living wildly because we know that we have forgiveness waiting in abundance.  There is a fine line and middle ground between the younger brother and older brother, but no matter what, we can do nothing without Jesus.  He is the only way for any of us to live with Him forever.  We need to surrender ourselves to Him completely and totally and follow His will.  He gave everything for us.

Prodigal~recklessly extravagant; having spent everything

One Lovely Blog Award

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Lori was so sweet to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  It was a surprise to me and made me smile.  You should check out her blog at http://lorischulz.wordpress.com/.  She has a variety of nice topics to read about.

In accepting this award, there are a few rules to follow:

Rules (One Lovely Blog Award):

1.  Thank the person who has nominated you.  Provide a link to his/her blog.

2.  List the rules and display the award image.

3.  Include 7 facts about yourself.

4.  Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.  This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love.

5.  Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Things About Me

1.  I generally try not to reveal too much personal information on my blog, because I am a little paranoid about personal information on the internet.

2.  I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and pray that people stop turning away from Him.

3.  I am a stay at home mom who homeschools and wouldn’t trade it!

4.  I enjoy baking and decorating or creating interesting desserts!

5.  I also enjoy photography, especially taking pictures of scenery and my kids.  Sometimes I wish I could be a baker and photographer.  😉

6.  I am blessed to have an amazing family…immediate and extended!

7.  I am constantly researching new fitness trends and diets…trying to get certified as a personal trainer as well.

Here are my 15 nominations:

1.  http://mykidspaleolunchbox.wordpress.com/

2.  http://www.happybeinghealthy.com/

3.  http://shehopes.blogspot.com/

4.  http://happypalacehobbyfarm.wordpress.com/

5. http://transatlanticromantic.com/

6.  http://inlovewiththelord.wordpress.com/page/2/

7.  http://yvonnejwilson.wordpress.com/category/homeschool/

8.  http://thehomeschoolmomblog.wordpress.com/

9.  http://homeschoolcrafts.wordpress.com/

10.  http://hisladiesinwaiting.wordpress.com/

11.  http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/

12.  http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

13.  http://daybydayfaith.wordpress.com/

14.  http://sweetsimplestuff.com/

15.  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/

Thanks again Lori!  I would nominate you, too, but wasn’t sure if that was against the rules…haha!

God and the world

The world is a mess.  I don’t know of many people who deny that.  Morals have become distorted, God is forbidden in some places (apparently by those who think He can be told what to do), and people are more selfish than they have ever been it seems.  In the midst of the craziness our job is to TRUST HIM.

We trust Him in our lives, with our marriages, with our children, with our homes and our jobs.  We need to TRUST HIM.  That does not mean that our lives will go exactly as we want them to go.  He has warned us in His Word that we will have trouble in our lives.  It does mean that when everything falls apart we still trust that He is good all the time.

When families crumble, when people leave, when children die, when loved ones do not turn to Him, when commitments are broken, when our hearts our broken, we still hold onto His promises that …

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

and

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

In this world that is a crazy mess, He has already overcome.  Our job is to trust Him, to let His light shine and to take as many people as we can to Heaven with us…where the pain will stop…where we will be forever if we know Him and follow His ways.

Perfection

I am glad I am not perfect.  I am glad I am so far from being perfect that I have no place to judge others.  Of course we all do at times, wrongfully.  But…I am glad that is not my authority.  (note: Christian accountability and malicious/flippant  judging are very different things)  I am thankful that God can see past even the ugliest of sins and see how He can use that for His glory, in many cases taking the sin away and creating a whole new person from the trials.

Right now there are some people in my life that are choosing very different paths than the ones in which they started.  I have Christian and non-Christian friends trying to take control of situations that need to be given to God.  Someone asked me yesterday why I want them to be in Heaven.  My heart breaks over each situation.   I pray that God changes their hearts quickly.  I am a sinner, too.  Perhaps their sins are more noticeable than mine because they are on display right now.  That makes them no worse than mine.  So while I pray dramatic changes in their lives, I also pray dramatic ones in mine.  Though I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, I pray that I (and everyone) will grow closer to Jesus, and His will, everyday.

Praise God who gave His only Son.  Praise Jesus that His perfection reigns and that He took our place on the cross, so that when God looks on our lives He only sees the perfection of His Son.

COMMITMENT

There was a time when a person’s word meant everything.  It was trusted because it marked a person’s character.  If you could keep your word you were a good friend and a reliable employee.  Neighbors wanted to be with you and not with the person who snubbed them in the past.

There was a time when people craved commitment and having a purpose.  It was not long ago that while a great deal of people had begun not to care about those things anymore, a great presence of people still wanted to have meaning in their life.  In the past decade those numbers have dwindled at an alarming rate.

There was a time when people had values.  Some would argue that values have simply changed, but there is a harsh difference in a “changed value” and no value at all.

I have given the lives of my children to God.  I know He has a purpose for their lives.  I also am all too aware that my job is to raise them up in the way that they should go.  A job that I cannot do alone.  A job that is really God working through me and my husband.  I pray for their salvation constantly, and for them to not fall into the millions of options of temptation that are around every corner.

I am tired of people doing what they want just because they can.  I am tired of selfishness and looking out for number one.  I am sorry if life isn’t always perfect, but big news is that no one’s life is perfect.  Putting things and self first is not going to change that.  I am tired of the “cool” people (from age 5-95) being cool because of all the “stuff” they have or all the places they have gone or stunts they have pulled.

Why isn’t it “cool” to raise a family? To commit to serving others? To lead people to Christ and know that they will live for eternity in His presence?  Last I checked eternity is infinitely longer than are lives on earth…for real.

Moms and Dads may live the most exciting lives in all actuality.  Most parents have children that turn their hair gray from time to time…or 10 times a day.  We are always riding on the brink of disaster.  😉

I am not knocking fancy houses and cars, being promoted at your company or traveling the world.  All those are wonderful things.  I am challenging everyone everywhere to put people first.  Keep your word, keep your promises, stay with your families even if it means sacrificing, don’t let a little pain make you run from the things you once loved.

Most importantly, love God, follow Jesus, trust in the Holy Spirit to guide you.  Stand firm in your faith.  If you don’t know Jesus, find out about Him and ask Him to show you the way.  HAVE PURPOSE IN YOUR LIFE, don’t just follow the next “cool” guy or chase after the next best thing.  Make a life you can be proud to say you lived and proud for others’ to see.  Make a life that the next generation will want to live and pray for a revival in our nation.

5.16.14

Another great devotional from Bible Gateway NIV devotionals for moms.  🙂

Listen to the Stones

Luke 19:38–40

Additional Scripture Readings: Proverbs 1:5

Habakkuk 2:11

When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, crowds cheered, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38). The Pharisees ordered Jesus to tell the disciples to be quiet. Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). Surely Jesus meant that the good news of his coming was so overwhelming that, if human voices failed, the most ordinary, inanimate objects of the earth would have to shout his praise.

In the same way, if we miss God in the big picture, he will be sure to make himself known in the plain, the small and the near. The ordinary stones of our lives are ready to tell us something important. They praise a God who is ever-present. They bless the name of a God who cares.

Like the unexpected note that picks up our spirits. Or the nearby parking space when we’re in a hurry with a baby and toddler in tow. Or the hug from a friend that says, “I understand.”

In life’s tough times, evidence of God’s care may seem to evaporate. But his presence in daily moments is there nonetheless—if we’ll just listen to the stones.