Living life on purpose

Saturday, April 29, 2006

 

LBY week 5

Peace. Man, I am in need of peace lately.

I’ve blogged regarding DH’s pay cut before. Last year we endured a $415/mo pay cut. This year an additional $800/mo. cut. We’re $700/mo. short to pay our bills, DH and I have been squabbling about this since January when it happened. There is a serious lack of financial peace around here.

How come it is that financial troubles are so hard? We have survived so much worse than this but after 4 months of squabbling about the lack of money and the increasing debt load - well, it came to a head this week. We screamed, we argued, and then peace fell on us. We DO have options. We DO have a way out. But it’ll take serious discipline and dedication.

Peace. Peace. Peace. It’s been resonating in my mind all week. Letting God have rule over our financial situation, trusting that He knows what is on the other side for us and being ‘hitched’ with my DH and pulling in the same direction….that’s where my peace lies.

One HUGE point in the video that stood out to me was in the third session.

Exodus 4:12 – “…I will teach you what to say….”

I teach an adult Sunday School class on families/children. I use the term “teach” very loosely because I’m simply the facilitator for the lesson. I’m learning just as much as my “students”. My oldest child is only nine years old and I am certainly no expert in the field.

I have noticed that since taking on the class about 9 months ago, my own children/family life has really been teaching me some difficult lessons. It seems stepping out of my “safe box” and accepting this role has placed my family square in Satan’s cross-hares. We’ve had trouble with behavior at school (mild, but shocking for my DS. He’s so mild mannered!), trouble with DD’s attitude, now I have two year olds I have trouble knowing how to parent. Just this morning I battled trying to keep them in their cribs past 5am! Finally there was silence. I opened the door to their room to find the younger twin finger-painting the wall with the contents of his diaper. Nope, not a proud mama moment. I promptly placed an order for two crib tents to try to imprison the rascals for a couple more months (or YEARS! lol)

Peace. Yep, I’ve been learning about peace since taking on the Sunday School class. I’m enjoying it but my kids are definitely testing the boundaries of peace around here. Add in the financial issues making tempers run short and you have a perfect recipe for chaos!

I’ve been praying for peace. Praying for God’s peace like a river to ascend on our house. It’s going to take some work and the rule of God in our lives.

But it’s so worth it.

AddieHeather*Carol
MRachJeana
JennAmandaMamaB
GiBeeBoomamaMaria
BlairHeatherNancy
JannaFlipflop Robin
SherryPatriciaTara
LaurenHolyMama!Faith
ChristyEph2810Karin
LeannRachelJanice
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm - Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

 

Confession.... (re: LBY)

I've fallen behind in the Bible Study. I don't know how it happened, I just looked up and it was Tuesday and I was behind!

I will catch up this week. So many things going on in my personal life and I've been struggling to keep up!

I'm considering a hysterectomy at 30 - major bleeding issues for 5 months now. I have migraines so many kinds of BCP's dont' work for me. SOmething has to give here - this has been nearly constant for 5 months!

My youngest son needs his adnoids out. Not a HUGE big deal but still requires some planning with the other 3 kids and DH's work schedule.

I'm in the process of taking over my "Mom's Group" at church. My mentor and the fearless leader is moving in a couple months. I miss her already!

I'm trying to nail out the kinks in my SS class. The mentor mentioned above was my backup teacher when I needed to be gone and with her moving - well, I'm in a jam. Plus I need some new material and I'm floundering! I have ideas, but no direction!

I'm planning a presentation for a speech I'll be giving in a couple weeks. It's a great opportunity - I speak on an issue close to my heart and receive a professional critique.

So, I've gotten behind on things. Today I'm picking up a perishable shipment and the kids have a bday party.

Ladies, I'm really sorry about this. I missed last week's post - but I did that lesson!! Maybe I'll post that entry before the weekend is through and the week 4 post this week (mid-week. That's my plan anyhow.

I'm working through this differently this week. Usually I run the homeowrk M-F. Then I'm supposed to post Friday night. I have trouble doing that. I need more time to mull it over. This week I'm running it Saturday - Wednesday. Then I'll have the time I need.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

 

Thirteen FAVORITE SONGS(in no particular order)


1. "Praise you in this storm" - Casting Crowns

2. "Cry out to Jesus" - Third Day

3. "Redeemer" - Nicole C. Mullen

4. "Who am I" - Casting Crowns

5. "My Jesus" - Todd Agnew

6. "Something's gotta give" - LeAnn Rhimes

7. "Strong Tower" - Kutless

8. "Set Me Free" - Casting Crowns

9. "The Chasing song" - Andrew Peterson

10. "They don't understand" - Sawyer Brown

11. "My Savior, My God" - Aaron Shust

12. "I am Free" - Newsboys

13. "Only Grace" - Matthew West

Wow - I have a LONG list of favorites - this was only a few of them!






Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




Thursday, April 13, 2006

 

Thirteen Things I need to do today


1…. Exercise - it's about time I get back into a regular routine
2. Shower - 'nuf said
3. Get to M.U.M.S. on time - This is no small feat! (Mothers United to Maintain Sanity - in case you were wondering)
4. Take the boys to the doctor - think we have a raging case of pink eye started.
5. Get gas in the van - otherwise I'll be guaranteed some additional exercise!
6. Probably pick up a prescription for the Pink Eye
7. Hit the grocery store for Easter meal fixin's
8. Mail a CD sold on Half.com - also have several cards to mail as well as transcript requests for colleges DH and I have attended.
9. Call to check in on a friend who has been sick
10. Bake the Amish Bread that I didn't get made yesterday - I did put it in the fridge though. lol
11. Clean the house in the style of FlyLady (15 minutes in each room)
12. Vacuum the kitchen (yes, I have terrible KITCHEN carpet - whose idea was that?!)
13. clean the bathrooms


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here! (If someone tells me HOW, that is *blush*)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




Wednesday, April 12, 2006

 

LBY Week #2

Yup. We're mid-way through week THREE.

I've been processing this all week. Trying to compose a post that "fits". Trying to think of the right words and feeling to expressions to write exactly how God is working in me.

This is such an awesome study - so much of my life FITS that it's hard to narrow it down!

Going through my notes, this is what stands out the most. There is a lot more but I tend to talk alot and since I'm already late and so many others have said it so much better than I have I'll hit just two points...

"Don't simply press down sinful desires - Get new desires!"

This fits so well with an issue in our home that I cannot pass up the opportunity to share how God is woking in the life of my dear husband.

My husband was first exposed to pornography at the tender age of 11 at a friend's home. He distinctly remembers this as the start of a sexual addiction to pornography. He shared this with me and several others and we've been praying for victory over this for years.

We've been married for 11+ years and this has been a constant struggle for him. I have sins that I hold on to and I've never begrudged him for this. I know his desire is to change. The Lord started dealing with him about 3 1/2 years ago regarding this addiction and he's been struggling with breaking the chains of desire.

This weekend at the marriage conference we attended, a Christian anti-porn software program was mentioned (http://www.xxxchurch.com). After some prayer and discussion, we downloaded the software onto our computers. Now this software doesn't pick up gaming sites (like the FREE (pretend money) poker DH plays) - only sites that capitalize on a sexual addiction. You choose two accountability partners to receive email regarding potentially sinful websites at regular intervals. AND if you disable the software it is logged and sent to your accountability partners.

This is such an enormous step in our marriage. I'm so proud of my husband for taking this step. He and I have prayed about this issue so much. Praise the Lord, he's working in our marriage and giving us new desires!

"Follow earnest confession with active acceptance"

This is a really hard one for me.

Forgiveness. I struggle with both forgiving and being forgiven.

Years ago I was hurt very deeply by my family. Accusations were hurled. Judgements were made. Our family has been divided over this one event in our lives. Apart from a miracle of God, members of my family will never speak again. I wish I could speak more on this subject - and I might at a later time. (Blogging is new to me and I'm apprehensive to post too much)

I struggled with forgiving those family members who hurt me. I prayed about it and believed I had forgived them and then something would happen in my life and I'd know I hadn't really forgiven them at all.

Someone told me during that difficult time that if I was constantly "back in the boat" the Jesus was trying to teach me something. That I needed to really release it to Him to be freed from it. When Jesus was trying to teach the disciples a lesson, they were frequently out fishing - they were "back in the boat". I felt like I was always "back in the boat" regarding forgiveness.

Finally after much time in prayer and many tears shed, I have truly forgiven those people who hurt me. It didn't come easily but I am finally free. I love what someone said to me recently about harboring unforgiveness - "It's like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die." That's truly how I felt for nearly 2 years.

Forgiving myself for my role in this situation? I never have. I've been living under the guise of guilt for years now. It's a sensitive topic, I live with guilt everyday. I'm not sure how to break free from it.

I've confessed my sin to God. I've begged for forgiveness. I know His grace has been extended in my life and I'm forgiven. But I can't forgive myself. I don't accept His forgiveness.

Now, isn't that self-righteous? I can't accept His forgiveness?

I've spent a lot of time pouring out this situation to Him - each time walking away with the same burdens. I want this study to the end of this guilt for me. I've been imprisoned for some long by not accepting forgiveness in my life. God is dealing with me regarding this. I'm not sure HOW to forgive myself but I'm listening. Lord, speak to me....

I just want to add this before closing this post - this study has been amazing. I've never done anything like this and it's been so revealing. It's also been a painful study - my toes hurt from being stepped on so much - but I'm so excited to see what God has in store for me over the next several weeks. I'm continually amazed at how God is meeting me right where I am through LBY.

AddieHeather*Carol
MRachJeana
JennAmandaMamaB
GiBeeBoomamaMaria
BlairHeatherNancy
JannaFlipflop Robin
SherryPatriciaTara
LaurenHolyMama!Faith
ChristyEph2810Karin
LeannRachelJanice
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm - Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.

 

Easter week

I've been caught up in Easter prep work - my mother and grandma as well as DH's parents are coming in for the weekend (should be interesting) and my twin son's birthday is also this weekend. I spent today shampooing carpets, running to the store (one more trip before the weekend), getting my eyebrows waxed and haircut in preparation for the big weekend.

Last weekend DH and I went to a marriage seminar. I went into the weekend with the feeling that, "We'll go to this, but we don't really have any problems so it should be a breeze".

Boy, was I ever wrong.

The thing is DH and I rarely fight. I viewed that as a positive thing. But the thing I missed was that if we rarely have conflict, then one of us is always giving in. That's not a good thing in a marriage.

Friday night was great. We talked, we laughed and it was such a GOOD thing.

Saturday that all changed. We started arguing. The way things were presented was that we attended a workshop and then were given 15-20 minutes to discuss the workshop privately. We spent the greater portion of that private discussion time arguing.

I am married to the most wonderful man. He's hardworking, loving and giving. I'm not sure how things started down this path.

I'm not proud to admit that. Somehow this has snuck up on us.

He's been feeling disrespected and unloved. So have I. I think it's a case of "what came first? The chicken or the egg....." - I don't know how it started!

His top need was respect. His top love language was "Acts of service" (if I knew how to add a link - I'd link you to "The five love languages" by Gary Chapman). Acts of Service was #5 on my list. "What? You changed the oil in the van? Good for you - it needed done." That does nothing towards speaking love to me.

This week it's been obvious that we've both been going out of our way to work on meeting each other's needs. It's uncomfortable, honestly. We've been living such parallel lives, rarely interacting but getting things done - that interacting feels almost forced. But it will get better. We're both determined and praying for our marriage and this seminar exposed issues we never even knew were there.

I'll probably post more on this later....

Saturday, April 01, 2006

 

HELP!

Save for the fact that I have developed a pretty effecient "hunt and peck" technique - I'm basically computer illiterate.

What is wrong with the coding below? Help!

(tee hee)

Edit:

Hooray! It seems to be working now. Thanks a million, Lauren!

AND - I seem to have retrieved my SS lesson (Go me!) and now all I have to do is tweak it a bit. PC keeps telling me I have a network problem (?!) but at least I can open my documents again.

We're talking about the effects of media in the raising of boys tomorrow. Subtle sexual innuendos that sneak into commercials, how men are portrayed as idiots in sitcoms, etc. I'm really excited about this lesson! I hope my class remembers to change their clocks and everyone is on time. There is a lot to cover. (remember - spring AHEAD tonight.)

 

LBY Intro post delayed.....

This should be my intro post to an awesome Bible study I started Monday with 28 other bloggers. I think Satan had it in for me this week since this is something I really need at this point in my life.

It's coming, I promise. Right now my proiority is trying to retrieve my Sunday School lesson off this computer beast who seems to have lost it!

In the meantime, read what this great bunch of bloggers are saying about Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible study:
********************************************
Edit:

Late? That always seems to be ME!

As promised, my take on the first week of LBY.

I think when you're doing a Bible study, you tend to pull the pieces that fit with where you are RIGHT NOW in your life. At least I do.

I have a friend who lost her nearly 4 year old son in a choking accident last August. He stuffed his mouth full of pancakes and jumped down to hurry off and watch a video and choked. He died about 2 days later.

She's been grief stricken. I've really kept my distance from her because being around her is painful for me. Right now, she seems to be "stuck". She's assoctiating with other grieving parents who are "stuck". I want so much for her to find the peace that only He can bring but she doesn't seem to be searching for it.

A verse this week stood out for me - Acts 14:22 - ".....we must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God......"

When does the bad stuff stop happening? Well, I guess it doesn't. God uses pain in our lives to show us the substance of our faith. He uses sorrow and pain to strengthen us.

Hardly seems fair, but it's right there in the Bible. We were never promise a "fair" life. We were promised He'd carry us through the hard times. Rain falls on the just and the unjust equally - no one is immune.

My heart hurts for my friend right now. Grieving is such hard work. I've been praying for her strength to increase and that her heart will be comforted.


Another verse from this week's Bible study: Jeremiah 29:11-13 - you know the first verse, The last one got me - you must seek with all your heart to find Him. It's hard to put your whole heart into something. Especially when it's in pieces.

Grieving is very much done alone. Not even my wonderful husband can help me through some of the roughest points.

From the Bible study - "In the midst of some of your deepest difficulties, have you ever looked around and thought, "Where is everybody?"

Sometimes God reserves the right to withhold others and to pull you aside with Him so you can experience what David did in I Samuel 30:6, "David found strength in his God."...."

Even Jesus prayed alone when He was struggling facing His death. He took two disciples with Him, but He prayed alone - he sought the face of God and the peace only He could bring.

For me, I realized that only the Father can bring my friend the peace she doesn't even know to seek. I want to scoop her out of the grief she's in and help her see all that God may have waiting for her on the other side. But I can't. And I shouldn't.

She needs to do this herself. She needs to make the first step towards Him and he'll run to her and scoop her up.

I've stepped outside of myself. I've relived my own grief to try and help her. My role now is to pray and pray and pray for her.

I know this is different from what the others got from this first week. But God meets you where you are and gives everyone what they need right then. This is what I needed this week.

I have to admit, this Bible study is more involved that I anticipated and I fell behind. I'm making it a priority not to let this happen thsi week. It's an absolutley AWESOME study and I'm so excited to get more into it. I can't wait to see what else is in store for me.







AddieHeather*Carol
MRachJeana
JennAmandaMamaB
GiBeeBoomamaMaria
BlairHeatherNancy
JannaFlipflop Robin
SherryPatriciaTara
LaurenHolyMama!Faith
ChristyEph2810Karin
LeannRachelJanice
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm - Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.

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