Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thinking about the New Year...

Well, I'm sure this time of year most people start thinking about New Year's Resolutions and whatnot... and I'm one of them. God reminded me of this Scripture during my quiet time yesterday...

So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. [Ephesians 5:15-17]

I have been living like a fool lately... especially as it relates to mothering my two little boys... acting thoughtlessly (that is, not living intentionally)... just living in the moment, doing whatever seems the most comfortable and meets the least resistance. Yuck! After not too long, such complacency feels pretty gross! But God has convicted me—it's time to turn around and make some changes.

Although I cringe at New Year's Resolutions—because they so often seem more like wishful thinking than deliberate choices—I did make a list of things I feel will help me be more intentional with my thoughts and my time, and are achievable....

* Pray more. Complain less. Be more joyful!
* Pray for husband.
* Pray for kids.
* Plan 1:1 face time with each son.
* Stay off email during boys' awake time.
* Limit boys' TV watching.
* Make a chore chart for Brandon.
* Read One Year Bible.

I like to write this kind of stuff in the front of a new journal—then I can reference it regularly to help me stay on track!

I've been struggling with fatigue off and on for awhile now, and sometimes I feel like there's no way I can be a "good mom"—but yesterday God reassured me that I can do it, with His help! What a faithful, loving God!

Friday, December 25, 2009

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...

On Christmas Eve morning, Brandon helped me put up our Christmas tree. We had fun! I think he was a little perplexed, however, when he peered into a box of branches, wondering how we were going to get a big Christmas tree out of that!

Now, what I want to know is...

...what part of "Don't play with the Christmas tree" didn't he get? :)

And snow, it did!

My hard-working husband and son blazed their way through 7" of snow in the driveway... and that was yesterday's snow. Today we got about 3" more... and currently, it's drizzling out. Glad we don't have to drive anywhere!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Impending snow storm

Well, it seems inevitable now.... the National Weather Service is making the winter storm warning official, effective at 9:00 tonight. On they stated, "The winter storm expected for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day could rival the largest two day snowfall for the holiday of 11.3" set back in 1945."

While a big dumping of snow seems so festive—"just in time for the holidays!"—it will prevent my parents from being able to travel to our house for Christmas. This is fairly disappointing to me...we always spend Christmas Eve with my folks. It'll just seem weird to celebrate without them. :(

But the one thing that gives me peace is the realization of God's sovereignty. I keep thinking that if there is just one life He wants to save by preventing traveling, He would do it... or if there was just one person who would find Him because of the storm, He would do it. That's our great God!—so mighty and powerful that He controls the weather—and yet so personal that He cares for each individual person.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First-hand baking tip

Something comes over me this time of year... as the snow starts falling... and we get closer to Christmas..........

I start baking. I don't normally do a lot of baking, but something deep within compels me.... and I start craving cookies and other sweet treats. Today I made fudge while my boys were napping. Then I decided to make chocolate chip cookies.

So, the recipe calls for 1 cup of softened butter [that's two sticks]. The operative word here is softened. I had put a fresh stick of butter on the butter dish this morning, so that one was already softened.... but since I hadn't planned ahead, I'd have to grab another stick of hard butter from the frig.... and how do you effectively soften butter without melting it???

Then my brilliant mind remembered, "Hey! Can't you substitute applesauce for butter?" So I Googled it—and sure enough, you can indeed substitute applesauce for up to 3/4 of the butter the recipe calls for! So I tried it...... and.... well......... suffice to say that chocolate chip cookies come out much firmer [that is, you can actually hold the cookie with your fingers without it wilting and falling into pieces all over the floor] when you just follow the recipe as it's written....

Happy day! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheap trick

I admit it. I shop at Target far more than Walmart. And I purchase a fair amount of Target-brand items... which are now under the brand up & up.

Well, I have a bone to pick. Seems they've changed their toilet tissue... the width of the roll has shrunk by a 1/2-inch! And I noticed the new cardboard roll is also larger (the old one will fit inside it)... which makes me suspicious that they are also putting less length of paper on them. Less paper, all for the same low, low price.....

Just kinda irritates me today for some reason.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Accept the gift!

This morning I had some errands to run. (My husband is playing in the band at church, but my boys are sick so we weren't able to go.) I needed to drop off some stuff at a friend's house, who has also been sick, so on my way there I called and offered to bring over a Starbucks for her.... but she graciously declined.

Now ladies... I don't know about you, but I can recall a few times when someone has offered to bring me something—whether I was in need or not—but I refused because I didn't want to put them out. Put them out? If they didn't want to do it, they most likely wouldn't have offered! (Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?)

It would have blessed me to bring my friend a fru-fru coffee drink this morning. I would have loved to have done that for her! So now I ask myself, how many times have *I* closed the door on an opportunity for someone else to be blessed by serving me with some simple act of kindness?

So I encourage you—next time someone offers to do something for you, take them up on it!! (It's not greedy or selfish to let someone do something nice for you!) You will be blessed AND they will be blessed!! :)

Starting anew - part 2

Reflecting on my previous post—here's even more awesome perspective on second chances...

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!"
~Lamentations 3:21-24

Amen!!! I feel like I want to put exclamation points after every sentence in that chunk of Scripture! What would I do without the Lord's great love?!?!?!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You can start anew -- right now!

Some people are not going to like you no matter what you do or what you say.
Get over it and get on with life.

Some of your efforts are not going to bring the results you were after.
Accept it and find another approach.

Occasionally you'll be distracted and knocked off course for a while.
On a regular basis, life will have its disappointments.
Those disappointments and distractions do not have to stop you.
In fact, you can choose to let them inspire you and to push you forward.

No matter what has just happened, you are free in this moment to act with positive purpose.
Whether the past has worked in your favor or not, the future is yours to create as you wish.
Life is too important to waste it feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself up. [!!!]
Get up and get on with life, and make it match your highest expectations.

~Ralph Marston

I love this quote... especially as a mom who daily makes mistakes and has to frequently reassess my direction and change course -- right in the middle of the day!! Oh Lord, thank you that You give me so many second chances... thank you that my day isn't a total loss when I make wrong choices -- but through Your grace and Your strength, I can choose to make the next right choice!