Thursday, June 30, 2011

Video Thursday : Daily Affirmations

Just a little lesson on daily affirmations.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Great Reminders

I haven't been sleeping very well lately.  I wouldn't have told you that a week ago because I was getting close to 8 hours every night.  But when I told my friend Melissa that I couldn't remember the last time I slept all the way through the night she was surprised.  I wake up at least once every night and most of the time more than once.  I don't usually stay awake, but still my REM patterns are probably getting messed up. (Is that what they are called?)
Mel helped me realize that not getting good sleep will start to take a toll on you. And I really do think it is taking one on me.  I've been feeling kinda off in my head.  Like all the synapses are not firing correctly.  I"m wondering if it's because I'm eating less fried food and there's not enough grease up there to make the connections work?  :)
I had lunch with a friend this week and she said her husband had been struggling with not sleeping through the night and his doctor told him to take Ambien 5 nights in a row to get his body back in the habit of sleeping all the way through the night.  He did and it worked.  Now, I don't do Ambien.  I have had 2 different bouts with the stuff and it made me CRAZY so I knew that was not an option.
I came home and found my prescription of Lunesta and thought I would try that.  I took it last night at about 10:30pm and went to bed and waited to get sleepy.
I was reading tweets and decided to send out a tweet.  Here is what it said...

I took a sleeping pull ang nor I Judy hope it really helps me.  I ness it Yo song.

I had to have someone else translate for me what I was trying to say...

SO... Two great reminders today...
1) I do not do well with sleeping pills... especially ones that say they slow your brain down!
2) ONLY Tweet while coherent!!!

Video Thursday : What Gifts Do You Have?

"God made me blind and unable to walk... big deal... "

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Painting With My Community Peeps

My Community Group decided it would be fun to do a paint night together.  We picked the Inwood Theatre pic.  This experience was different from the last one, different instructor and different style.  But definitely just as fun.
Here we are with our blank canvases...

 First we drew the building in with a pencil.

Then painted the sky...

Added in the red...

The different shade of red...

Both of these colors were difficult to make.  I wanted it to be more of a terra-cotta color... didn't quite accomplish that.  And then the pink was more of a lavender.

Here is a great action shot :)

Trees are added as well as the yellow, blue, and white...

And then we outlined the whole pic in black.  That was not as easy as it looks.

And the whole group with our finished products.  

 This whole painting deal is fun.  A little pricey to get to do very often AND I am not sure the perfectionist side of me can handle it.  Right now both of my paintings are just sitting in my room and I end up picking apart all the things I would do differently.
But a fun night with my peeps for sure!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mavs and Superstition

Most of the world knows by now that the Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions!  I do not love basketball, but I like basketball.  Most of the time I feel like the players are rich punks who just want more money and kind of whine a lot.  But sometimes you find a group of guys who are more old school and seem to play for the love of the game.  Now, I do not know the guys on this championship team personally so I can't say for sure, but a lot of them seem to be fairly humble, hard-working guys.
There has been a lot said about the match-up of the Mavs vs Heat.  David vs Goliath.  Good vs Evil.  But really my favorite was said after the game when they talked about the title not being won by superstars but by a TEAM.  I loved that.
OK, enough about my opinions and thoughts.  What I was mainly going to share was my playoff experience.  You see... I did not watch very many of the games.  In fact I only actually witnessed 2 full games all year.  When the playoffs started I confess I kinda thought the Mavs would end up like they have the last few years and they would lose the first round.  Clearly proved me, and a bunch of others wrong.  Then I watched one game during the 2nd round of the playoffs and they lost.  So I vowed to go back to being in my bed when they played and it worked... they won every game in that series. So here come the finals and I don't know what to do.  So first game I don't watch, but I'm not in my bed and they lost.  2nd game, I'm in my bed, they win.  3rd game... people are giving me a hard time so I'm not in my bed, they lost.  4th and 5th game... in my bed... they win.  So the dilemma of Game 6!  Do I watch? Do I not?  I had been getting comments all along from people thanking me for being in bed and playing my part on the team.  So I posted the question on Facebook and here are the responses I got...

Delimna... I should watch the game or should go to bed? #mavs
Sunday at 1:02pm via Selective Tweets · Privacy: ·  · 
    • Julie Stern maybe you could paint something...
      Sunday at 1:05pm · 
    • Charla Dixon U considering dropping superstition? Things could get dicey:) A lot is riding on that decision... just kiddin! You should watch:)
      Sunday at 1:37pm · 
    • Jenn Massie Are u kidding??? :) u don't want to miss the last game, do u??? :)
      Sunday at 1:54pm · 
    • Emily Richmond Loerke if you jack with our mojo ima gonna cut you.
      Sunday at 1:59pm · 
    • Jeff Ward bed!
      Sunday at 2:05pm · 
    • Rachel Wolters Shelton We don't really have time for you to stay
      up and watch and possibly push us to a game 7 ... GO TO BED ...

 Gave me great laughter.  So my friend Robbi and I talked about what I was going to do.  I told her I had to be close to my bed in case it started going south.  So we started watching at my house with my roommate Charla.  As we are in the middle of the 3rd quarter I started to get nervous and think I should go get in my bed.  They were like... "come on, stay in here, you don't want to miss this."  So I said, only if we move my bed in here will I stay.  So at the end of the 3rd quarter... WE DID!

Victory was ours!  100% of the time I was "in my bed" in the 4th quarter... we won!
Now you might be asking... do I really think I had anything to do with the win. 
My response... "probably not!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Video Thursday : What's Most Important?

This video is such a great reminder that winning is not everything...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Food Stamp Challenge

June is Hunger Awareness Month and I am taking part in a mini version of the Food Stamp Challenge.  The full challenge is to eat as healthy as possible on $3.70 a day for all 3 meals per person in your family.  I know it would be really hard for me to do all 3 meals for a week and so I decided to do one meal a day for 7 days.

I went to WalMart on Saturday to get the items for my daily meal.  Walking through the store thinking about what I was going to get was interesting.  I had to really think about what I could make last for 7 days and I tried to get as healthy as possible.  Now... I did not get the healthiest our there, but I did make some different choices than I normally would have.

Here is what I got...
Loaf of Whole Grain Wheat Bread : 2.48
Whole Grain Pringles: 1.50
Bag of Baby Carrots : 1.38
Crunchy Peanut Butter : 1.88
I already had jelly at home so I factored that in to my list as well.
And I always drink water and from the tap it is "basically free."

Here is what I have learned so far...
1) I don't ever think about rationing what I have.  As I have had to stick to just these things for the meal it has really taken thought to make sure that it all lasts for 7 days.  So with the pringles and carrots I have had to  count them out.  Typically I just dump as much as I think I want on my plate and off I go.
2) It takes planning and forethought to make sure that I am prepared for my meal.  The other day I was eating this for lunch.  So I got it all packed up in the morning and then I headed out.  I did not get to the office until after 1:00pm.  So I had to take my lunch bag in with me everywhere I went because it could not stay in the car.  In this crazy heat it would have gotten NASTY!  And then tonight as I was heading home, I would have preferred to just stop in and grab something somewhere, but knew I needed to come home and have my sandwich.
3) I like variety.  I think I am going to be tired of this meal by the end of the week.  I don't usually eat the same thing twice in a handful of days if I can help it.  And WOW, that is such a luxury.
4) I do spend a lot of money on food.  I typically eat out as most of the time I am meeting people or on my way somewhere.  And I am just not a big fan of cooking and I do think it is hard to cook for one person because you do end up with a TON of leftovers.  It is a good reminder of the blessing of where I am in life, but also to not take that for granted.
5) I always have enough food.  So far with this meal I have found myself somewhat hungry quicker than usual.  I think I typically eat more than what I am eating in this meal.  I also typically eat as much as I want and for sure until I am full.  And it has been such a great reminder when I am hungry to remember and pray for those who are dealing with this on a daily basis.

I know I did not do the food stamp challenge to the fullest, but I am really thankful for what it is teaching me and this experience so far.  I know for me it is even a luxury to get to choose to do this for 7 meals.  Most struggling with hunger do not choose it at all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

God's Glory Displayed

I've started the study Breaking Free by Beth Moore. It's the 4th time I will do this study and each time I love it more. It is such a great process of asking... what is keeping me from living the abundant life God has planned for me?  And today, another question arose.

Today's lesson was on God's glory.
Isaiah 43:7 says...
everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made.

We were made for God's glory. To show others who He is.  To make Him known.
Here are a couple of things I underlined today in the study...

"A life that glorifies God is a life that reveals God."

"We glorify God to the degree that we externalize the internal presence of the living Christ."

"We are created for the purpose of giving God's invisible character a glimpse of visibility."

Seriously! It kinda took my breath away. For the 4th time, and yet it kinda feels like I just read all of this today for the 1st time.

And then this verse...
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Psalm 19:1

And I thought back to all the amazing things I have seen in the sky.  All the sunsets and the lighting storms and the rainbows and the rain clouds. And I thought... wait... if the sky is used to proclaim His glory AND He made us to proclaim His glory, that means that my life can be just as amazing as anything I have ever seen in the sky!

That kinds blows my mind!  
And this statement in the workbook...

AMEN! So I'm praying that God will show me anything that is standing in the way of Him being most glorified in my life.  Will you pray with me?

And a little side note... going back and finding these pics brought deep thankfulness for the way the Lord has blessed me with opportunity to see His creativity displayed!

You Have Me!

I think maybe I am late to this party... but I just heard a few songs by Gungor.
And this one really spoke to me. Such a great reminder of God always "having" us. I encourage you to listen.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Can't Get Enough!

Ok. I know... another trip to the arboretum... and more photos that I want to share!
As we walked up on this scene I was just blown away by the color and truthfully the peacefulness.  If it had not already been 90 degrees at 10am I might have sat on that bench for awhile!

Then... this... flower...! Can you say... AWESOME!  I have never seen one like this before.  It was growing right up out of the water and the center part looked like foam with sequence on it.  Not even real.  But I'm pretty sure it was legit.  Nope, I was good and did not touch it to find out!

This is my favorite picture of Harper from the day.  That is his Gran and his GreatGran!  PRECIOUS!!!

And a little fun in the castle.

And with his Aunt Suz!

And a little "I Love You", shout out!

I'm think my little nieces and nephews are gonna have to get use to the torture!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bridge The Gap

Believing.  Belief in something as true enough to put yourself fully into it.  Not just saying... oh that's true... but trusting it. Believing is something that I think lies at the root of much of our struggle to be and stay connected to God.  Not in a salvation saved kind of way, but in a relationship trust kind of way.
I am working my way through the book You Can Change by Tim Chester.  I was walking through the Watermark Coffee Shop one day and saw a friend with it and I asked about it.  And another staff remember piped in and said... one of the best all time books on change.  Ummmm... how do I not know about this?
And so he gave me a copy and I have been reading it slowly.  It is one that I think I will have to go back and read again after I get through it once.
There are many quotable statements in the book, like...
""The law isn't meant to be the starting point for change. It's meant to bring us to the end of ourselves and so drive us into the arms of Jesus."
"When you feel the desire to prove yourself, remember your're right with God in Christ."
Powerful right?
I'm now in chapter 5 and it's talking about truth.  What truths do we need to be putting in place of lies?  I LOVE THIS.  It is one of my all time favorite things to talk with women about.  When our behavior isn't matching up with who we are or what we say we believe, I love to talk about the lies that are being believed and discuss the truth that needs to take its place!
And so in the book this quote got circled and starred...
"The problems lie in the gap between what we believe in theory and what we believe in practice."
OK... I'm gonna type it again...
"The problems lie in the gap between what we believe in theory and what we believe in practice."
How totally true is that??? When I look at my actions in light of what I say I say I believe, or even what I believe but somehow it is not changing my actions, there is a GAP! And I want those gaps to change.  I want to stop looking to others for approval when I know the only audience that really matters is God.  I want to stop comparing myself to others when I know that each of us is unique and wholly loved by God.  I want to stop thinking something is wrong with me and that's why I'm not married, when I know that God has a plan for me and my relationship status does not define me.
I want to practice what I know and live what I believe.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Right Where I Need to Be!

I've been having lots of questions over the past couple of months about where I am in life... things like...
Am I making a difference? Am I doing what I should be doing (vocation wise)? Am I where God wants me to be? Do I need to make some radical change? Could I do this for 30 more years?
A friend told me that she has an identity crisis about every 3 years. And if that is true for me... 1) This is about the right time and 2) REALLY? Every 3 years?!!  Another friend told me that he had some major questioning at 37.  Realizing he wasn't a "kid" anymore and that 40 was getting pretty close.  I'm 37 about to be 38, so that makes some sense too.
For as long as I can remember God has always been really clear with me... stay here, move here, do this, don't do this.  I have always been soooo thankful that He has been clear with me.  But right now, it doesn't feel like He is being so clear.  So... 1) He might be dealing differently with me than He has before (I'm not sure how pumped I would be about this!) 2) Maybe it's not time for me to know. 3) Maybe there is just nothing to say!
And so I have asked a lot of questions, processed out loud a lot (aren't you all surprised), and journaled and prayed a ton.
Here are a couple of things I have come to...
1) Probably not a great idea to make some major like shift when I have only been a couple of weeks in the sunshine.  Out of the cloud of lasts years storm.
2) God is not in the business of being tricky or trying to frustrate me.
3) God's timing is different than mine... almost always.
4) How God leads me and what He chooses to do with where He leads me is often different than I expect.
The first 2 are pretty self explanatory, but I want to expound on 3 and 4.
So for #3... God's timing is different than mine.  One of my friends suggested I look back at David's life.  God told David he was going to be king.  But David went back to being a shepherd and then served in Saul's house and was nearly killed before he ever took the throne.  Now, God has not told me I am going to be king.  But, I do sometimes feel like there is something coming and maybe a change eventually, but I tend to start assuming it is going to be now or tomorrow instead of being faithful where I am today.
And then with #4.  The same friend who suggested David also said to take a look at Joseph's life.  Joseph's life was far from predictable and so much of where he ended up, he could not have made up.  He chose to be faithful where he was and allow God to be the one that moved him each step of the way.
And that got me to looking at a few times in my life when God has moved me to do things or ignited passions in my heart that did not lead to exactly what I assumed.  First it was leaving teaching to go and get my masters degree in counseling.  I thought for sure this was going to lead to me getting my license and going into private practice.  Never could I have dreamed it would mean going onto Watermark staff.
Then there was this passion for orphans that He stirred up in me 5 years ago.  It was intense and I was pretty convinced I would end up moving to Africa to work with them.  Instead He has used it to be a part of launching our sponsorship program in Uganda and now getting to work on a team that will bring camp to our sponsored kids.
Lots and lots going on in my head these days. No major answers, but lots of peace as I continue to trust and believe that God is all about me leaning into Him and just listening.  He will let me know what He wants and I trust that today... I am right where I need to be!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Creativity in the Sky

Check out how extremely creative and awesome the sky was this past week during one of the storms.  
Love when God shows off!

Proverbs 10:24-25
The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted.
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.