Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Daily Bread

"....Give us today our daily bread....." Most of us know this very familiar passage as a part of the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:11. Also, those of us with Christian backgrounds probably recognize that this term 'daily bread' represents more than physical food, but spiritual nourishment as well. So today, I would like to share with you two of my favorite scriptures from today's quiet time.
"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." Philippians 1:12
Why do I love this verse so much? Because it is a reminder that what we experience in life is not always our own. It is for sharing. Isn't it better to know that when we struggle, we do not struggle in vain? To know that the trials, tribulations and blessings of life can serve to further the gospel of and HOLY name of Jesus Christ?!!! This makes me happy! So, share your woes, without grumbling or complaining (Philippians 2:14) of course, in order that the gospel may be advanced. It is one way we fulfill the Great Commission!

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear of you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel." Philippians 1:27
I love this verse because I am using it as my personal challenge for the week. Or should I say FOR LIFE?! Two very powerful words 'WHATEVER happens' requiring me to always behave in a way that would glorify Christ and only draw people to him rather than create a foul taste in their mouths for his Holy name! O God, I am so guilty of not doing this. Forgive me! You see, it is true that for some, I am the only Jesus they see in a day. There is only one Jesus and I should show them the true Savior, not my own twisted version. Remember the old DC Talk album, Jesus Freak? It was in one of the speaking parts the voice says, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians confessing Jesus with their lips but denying him with their lifestyles." Lord forgive us!

Monday, September 21, 2009

You know that feeling you get when....

.....things feel as if they are falling into place? I happen to really love that feeling! I happen to be experiencing that feeling right now in life, at least at this moment. We all know how that feeling can be fleeting. Praise God my salvation and his love are not based on feelings, am I right? Somebody say AMEN!!! But seriously, I do feel as if things are going really well for us. Do we still have daily struggles, ABSOLUTELY! But, I feel that God is leading us and I can face the struggles so much easier knowing that. I am excited that we have been attending a church regularly and though I would like my husband to be here before we make the official decision that this is OUR church, I am already beginning to feel as if that is the correct answer!! The church is called Crossroads Church and you can check it out at the website http://www.2thecrossroads.com/.
Currently Pastor Glen is preaching/teaching a four part series on parenting. Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!? Yesterday was the first sermon in the series and the base text was Deut. 6:1-9. Now, I have to tell you that I know in my head and heart that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing spirit and soul (Heb. 4:12) but I gotta tell you, it is so exciting when it really happens, when the Word that is being teached or spoken directly applies to your current situation. When Pastor Glen was reading Deut. 6:2 I had a, well I suppose you would say a breakthrough! Read with me: "so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life."
When I read that scripture there was one great phrase that stuck out to me: enjoy long life. Now anyone that truly knows me knows why that struck a chord deep within me. About ninety percent of the time, I do not enjoy my life as a parent. I have said it aloud, I have written blog posts about it, I have confessed it to God. But I realized that I am not spending enough time as a parent pointing my two beautiful children to God. And as was pointed out in yesterday's sermon, that is our number one priority as a Godly parent, that above feeding, clothing, and sheltering your children. I like the way that Pastor Glen put it: "Our number one priority as parents is to gradually transfer our childrens' dependence away from us and other things and on to God". I am failing at this and that causes a lack of joy in my life and in theirs.
I know that this seems like such a juvenile observation, but for me, it was earth shattering. If I am not daily pointing my children to God, no wonder I have loathed being a parent so. I was letting my number one priority slip. So now my prayer is this that God would repay us the years that (I have allowed) the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) and show me what it looks like for me (us) to train our children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). I am full aware that this will require a lot on my part. But I am willing, for the sake of my children, for the sake of my Christ! Just look at these two beautiful reasons:

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Goodness of God

Sometimes we forget just how good God is amidst the constant barrage of sickness, disease, war, murder, etc. that seems to plague every newscast or ticker we see. But I have been reminded today that God is GOOD! Do you know what helped the most? I took time out of my day to meet with God. This is something that has become fewer and far between for me lately, regrettably so. But today, I quieted my mind and opened His Word and let Him speak to me. It was wonderful! I was reading I Corinthians 14 in The Message and I just have to copy verses 1-3 here because it is so powerful and if it can mean as much to anyone else today as it did to me, I wouldn't want you to miss it:

1 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth.2 If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him.3 But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.

If you need more examples of God's goodness today, check out this blog: www.unclenchedfists.blogspot.com

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Long Time

It has been quite some time since I posted here. Here is a bit of an update on what has been going on here. The day following my last post my dear Uncle went home to be with Jesus. What a bitter sweet time this was. I miss him and God knows my Aunt misses him. But, we know he has received the ultimate healing and is walking with Jesus down the streets of gold in Heaven. We traveled to TN for the funeral and by the grace of God, we made it safely. We traveled through Southern Missouri when all the ice was there and I promise, ice covered every surface, except the lanes we were driving on, even the shoulder. It was miraculous! Praise the Lord! After the weekend, we came back to Iowa and resumed life as normal. I have been trying to work out still and even lost a pound despite my lack of discipline while in TN. I did still get two workouts in while I was there, though. I am still loving my ladies' Bible Study and learning a lot. We have had a bit of warmer weather here, it got nearly to 50 above and we are actually starting to see the ground! Jaden is still playing hockey and we are still trying to find the perfect fit for Alix. I would really like to find a new, loving home for my dear Dafne (our beagle) and Izzy (our kitty). It seems I am the only one who has time to feed and water them or let Daf out or clean out Izzy's litterbox. I, quite frankly, am tired of it! Love those animals, but they have gots to go. Brian leaves Monday for his month long school. This sucks, but I am so excited that Aunt Di gets to come and stay with us for a couple of weeks while he is gone. Yay! Hopefully we can have some warm weather during that time. Now, hmm...what am I missing? Valentine's day is coming and though I have plans in my head for something special for Brian and I, don't think it can happen, no sitter. Oh well, there will be more, right? So that is us! Hopefully I didn't miss anything.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cardboard Testimonies

A friend sent me an email with this link and I just wanted to share it. It is powerful! I cried as I watched.

I thought about what my piece of cardboard would say and I am still not certain. Though I think a good start would be "ENSLAVED TO BITTERNESS"

See, from 2003-2005, I lived in a constant state of bitterness and anger towards my husband because he joined the Army Reserve in March of 2003. I felt abandoned and rejected and boy did I lash out at him and singlehandedly nearly destroyed our marriage. But then God spoke to me through I Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter. I realized that I was saying with my mouth that I loved Brian. But my actions were telling a WHOLE different story. The Word says "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Wow, was I pounded with the knowledge that I was NOT living out love. With that revelation, I was delivered of my biterness. I won't say that it wasn't a battle from that point on, but knowledge is power, so with that knowledge, I was able to make better choices with my words and my actions. Wow! I hadn't intended to share this much when I began this post, but I suppose there is a reason for everything. What I had intended on sharing was the heaviness that was on my heart for my aunt and uncle today. My uncle is dying. His body is shutting down and has been for some time now, though he has greatly worsened in the last 72 hours. Please pray for comfort and peace for them. We are not praying for healing, because we know healing is coming: the ultimate healing. Not much of an ending to this post, I know. But it is all I have at this point.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two MORE Pounds

Yesterday was weigh in day for a secondary challenge that I am participating on through http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ (I love my Sixers!). It is called the "Love Yourself Challenge". It is a six week challenge, ending on Valentine's day. Our goal is to lose 15-20% of the total weight we have left to lose by Valentine's Day. Which for me, is about 10 pounds (actually 9.4, but I am going for 10). In this challenge, we try to check in everyday with a post telling everyone something that we love about ourselves for that day. This challenge is so relevant to me and most women, I suspoect. How many of us can lay on compliments to others like laying butter on a biscuit, but when it comes to finding something we love or even like about ourselves, it is more like trying to smear whole fruit on that biscuit. I am so thankful for this group of ladies who I don't know, but share so much with. Also, I am happy to report, that I have four of those ten pounds DOWN! WooHooo!!! I can't believe I have lost four pounds. No pills, no starving myself. I have even had a little bit of fast food. I am just trying to eat smarter and healthier. I haven't even gotten into a full groove of exercising yet. Now, I am hoping to be down one more pound on Friday, which is my weigh in day for the Live Healthy Iowa Challenge. Thanks to all who are showing their support through comments, I really appreciate them! FOUR POUNDS!

FYI- if you are super interested, there is a ticker at the bottom of my blog that tells how many pounds I have left to lose. I am updating as the scale tells me too :)

Monday, January 19, 2009


I am so stinkin' excited! Today at the gym, I jogged for 30 minutes straight on the treadmill. I was going at a speed of 4.5 mph. I have never done that before, especially since I broke my ankle, jogging has been really difficult for me. But today, I pushed myself and I did it! I usually have to jog at a higher speed for a couple of minutes then drop the speed to walk fast to catch my breath. But I just took it minute by minute today and made it all the way. I feel so good that I pushed myself that far. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Lost 2 Pounds!!!!

This past Friday was weigh in day and I am happy to announce that I lost two pounds! I did really well for about three days with making sure I get plenty of water, but yesterday, I was so busy at work that I didn't get it in. I did pretty bad food wise on Friday night. I went to a ladies function at a local church with a friend and wow did they have great food. However, based on my former eating habits, I did splendid. The had two choices of soup: chili or cheesy ham and potato. Now as much as I love potato soup, I knew it would be heavier in calories and fat, so I chose the chili and it was delicious. I allowed myself a sprinkle of cheese over the top and a few oyster crackers. Here in Mason City, people really like to have cinnamon rolls with their chili, they serve it that way at school, even. So, there were these fabulous cinnamon rolls on the table, but I only allowed myself half. I tried to fill my plate with the raw veggies that were on the table, of course I dipped them in a little bit of ranch. For dessert they had mini cheesecakes and as I do not eat cheesecake, they made it easy for me to say no. After the speaker, the veggies were back out, and so were the homemade sugar cookies and popcorn (and not the microwave kind either) so I had two sugar cookies (one with frosting, and they were YUMMY) and a half bag of popcorn. So, though I went over my 1403 calories for the day (I earned more calories because I exercised), I did much better than I would have two weeks ago. This may sound crazy to some, but for me, it was a success. The journey to health and weight loss is paved with small changes that make large impacts. I am happy to be laying pavement!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Just checking in. We are super cold here in North Central Iowa. It is something like -39 with the windchill right now. YUCK! Today is the start of the 100 Day Live Healthy Iowa Challenge, I logged 14 activity minutes for shoveling snow. So I suppose, I can be thankful for the snow. LOL! As far as the challenge goes, I started monitoring what I was eating on the 10th as a step towards living healthy. I am happy to say, that though I have gone over my 1200 calorie alotment every day, I am getting better. I hope to see some really great results from this. Now I just have to get my rear in gear and get on a frequent exercise routine. Meanwhile, I am trying to be more active in my day. Take the stairs more often, go the long way, park in the back of the lot. All things that are hard to do in this cold, mind you. Thanks all for your support and encouragement. I appreciate it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed

That is the name of the Bible Study I have started. The church we have attended a few times here is holding this Bible study for women on Thursday nights and I am planning to attend. I say planning because yesterday I committed to it and this morning I realized that Brian will be leaving in a couple of weeks and will be gone for a month so I will have to find someone to watch the kiddos in order for me to attend. I know the Lord will provide this, however. I have missed the first meeting of the group but I got the materials so I could do my "homework" before the next meeting. Wow! I have only done day one and already I am hooked. So, pray that the Lord provides a cost effective solution for me. Also, pray for me while Brian is away. I have made no secret of my struggles as a mother and this will be one GIGANTIC test of my patience. So, I need a sitter on Thursday evenings from 6:30 until probably 8:30, any takers?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fabulous News!

I am so excited! I got our team, "Highway to Health" registered for the Live Healthy Iowa challenge today! WooHoo! Also, I learned that any "accidental exercise" (as Bob, the trainer from The Biggest Loser likes to call it) such as shoveling the driveway, can be recorded in my activity minutes. AWESOME since we live in Iowa! I am so stoked! Four days until I start tracking! Don't forget to HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I am curious

Well, I am curious about a lot of things, but today what plagues my mind the most is this:

will those same ignorant people who credit Obama with lowering the gas prices also credit him for them going back up again?

Just wondering!

Until later.......

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gearing up for the Challenge

I am so excited! I found this pamphlet in Wal-Mart the other day for a 100 day challenge from livehealthyiowa.org and decided I really wanted to do it but wasn't sure who I could get to form a team as you have to have a team of at least 2 and up to 10 people. So I asked Brian about it and he thought it was a great idea. Yay! But today at work I talked to a couple of the girls and now we have a team of like 6 people. I am so excited! I am so unhappy with my weight and have been for so long. But it is so hard to lose weight and keep it off. But, more than that, I am doomed healthwise, genetically speaking, so I MUST make changes. So, I want to be healthy, not just thin, though that is a really BIG motivator! I am so excited to have this team of friends and family to encourage me and hold me accountable to my goals. So, the 100 day Challenge begins January 14th and goes until April 23rd. I share this with you so that you all can be on my team as well and hold me accountable. Thanks in advance for you support and encouragement! It will be very necessary and much appreciated!

Monday, January 5, 2009


With twenty minutes left on my library computer timer, I will give a quick update for all. We had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the New Year (definitely much better than the start to last year lol). It was so wonderful to be able to visit family in Tennessee. The sad part was leaving. The weather alone makes us miss it, plus all of those fabulous people there we call relatives! I wish I had pictures to post, but sadly, I do not. I am technology challenged these days as both the PC and the laptop have crashed and our digital camera is still missing. Not sure what is going on with us and tech. I have so many thoughts on the New Year and resolutions but not sure I will have time to list them all. Also, I don't have my Bible with me here and I had some verses to share. So, I will just have to give you the references. I know it is the 5th so this is a little late coming but please extend me grace as I have explained my situation already. ;) Of course I, like many others want to make that resolution to lose weight stick this year, but I have decided not to make that resolution this year because I have others that are more important. Psalm 17:3 says ".....I have RESOLVED that my mouth will not sin." this is a resolution I want to explore. I know it is not impossible to be free from sin, though it is difficult. But I want to make a conscious effort to walk in the freedom of Christ to "go and sin no more". This would be a diffucult journey for anyone, but especially for me, the chief of sinners. But as I begin to ponder these things, the Lord in his great mercy and wisdom, provides me with Proverbs 16:3 which roughly states that committing your plans to the Lord will bring success. But for those of us that are hard headed and could take that verse very much out of context, there is Isaiah 55 (forgive me, I do not remember the exact verses at the moment) which explains to us that the plans we are committing must be from the Lord as my thoughts are not his thoughts and my ways are not his ways. So this year, my resolution will be to walk away from sin. Guess what, gluttony is a sin, so perhaps I will lose some weight after all! Happy New Year everyone. Think about what 2009 can hold for growing his Kingdom!

Friday, January 2, 2009

No Internet

Ok, just posting to let all know that my computer(s) died and I cannot access internet from home. Still in TN at the moment, flying back tomorrow. I have many thoughts to share, but not enough time. Don't give up on me, I will try to find a way to get back to posting.