Sunday, February 28, 2010

1 Chronicles, some trying times, and what I am thinking

I have been reading through the bible as you know.  I am blogging behind where I am reading because there is a lot to write about and this may cause overwhelming amounts of info to come off of my fingertips!  Therefore I am writing small tidbits.  Today I want to share a few things.  First, I am writing about 1 Chronicles.  It starts off with some lineage, which, if I had more time (which I do not, if I want to keep my husband), I would LOVE to write up the lineage.  It has been great, up until Kings, to keep track, basically, of who came from where.  But I am officially lost trying to keep THAT up!  So I am now just sucking up the information and thinking about how I can apply it. 

I did find it funny that Jabez, who cam from the clan of Judah, was named Jabez by his mother because, get this, she gave birth to him in pain!!  I found that a rather satirical little bit there in the middle of the lineage descriptions!  Another funny little piece I picked up came from the gatekeepers.  Have you ever had a job where you did cold calling for businesses?  I have.  In this job, the task was to get past the gatekeeper to the person you needed to actually speak to!  It is described here in 1 Chronicles.  There were 212 of them.  Their job was to guard the gate to the house of the Lord.  They had special posts and tasks.  Funny that this term may have been coined right here in Chronicles!  There is a lot of recap here with Saul taking his own life, which, I discovered 1 and 2 Samuel was actually not all on his own.  He had a little help.  But it is all due to his disobedience to God.  After this is the retelling of David and his greatness as a king with great reward from God.  I hear in this book the "plan".  God's plan, not ours.  We have the plan in our heads, don't we.  I know, you have heard it all before.  I am just pointing out that God makes it pretty clear that his plan is THE plan.  Live it out and have yourself a slice of peace...

Mackenzie has had her fourth ear infection in 4 months so we will be heading to an ear nose and throat doctor to have him take a look and see what our options are and see what exactly is causing all of these infections.  It is my prayer that it is teeth and that is the end, but after a 103.6 fever and a mild panic attack, I would like some answers.

I am looking into my future a little bit lately.  I have been working on an agent for my books.  I have run into some technical snags as well as some, lack of knowledge, shall we say?  It is quite a world out there in publishing.  I don't have lofty or unrealistic goals, I am just taking it slowly and I think I need some more momentum.

Last night, Madi made a museum of her bedroom so Mike could go in for his birthday and have a night to play in a museum!  It was the most precious thing.  We played and then watched, or more like fell asleep to, Night at the Museum!  It was a beautiful  night.  Matt, our soon to be brother in-law, made us a delicious dinner and I made Black Forest Cake from scratch.  It was kinda droopy and falling apart, but at least it wasn't raw! 

All in all, it feel like change is coming...just don't know what change and where.  Not my plan though is it?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reading Through the Bible, Getting aLiterary Agent and Growing Pains

So what have I gotten from 2 Kings?  That kings think they are above all that!  What does a man have to do to get a nation's attention???  The prophets stood up and flat out told them what would be and what God was telling them to.  Then HE HIMSELF followed through just in case they didn't want to believe him!  That did not convince them to throw away the false idols and follow him. 

Elisha took some strides.  (I am partial to his name as one of my very close friends named her daughter Elisha).  What a person to be named after.  Elisha surpassed Elijah.  That was not easy to do.  For starters: 
  • Elisha caused a dead child to live (2 Kings 4:8-37).
  • Elisha made poisonous food safe (2 Kings 4:38-41).
  • By God's power, Elisha cured Naaman. Naaman was the captain of a foreign army (2 Kings 5).
  • Israel even won battles without a fight, because of Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-23). 
Elisha was part of the prophesy that the evil rulers of Jezebel and Joram would die a horrible death when he appointed Jehu the King of Israel.  He killed them  Yet he STILL followed false gods.  Other troubles ensued and it was an all around mess.  Manneseh, who served terrible gods, was a cruel man, who killed innocent people. God was angry when he saw these evil actions. So, God decided to destroy the nation of Judah, too (2 Kings 21:1-18).  Then, Josiah became king. Josiah was Manasseh's grandson.  He was the greatest king they had.  Josiah served God. Josiah loved God's law. Josiah encouraged the people to trust God. And Josiah repaired God's temple (the house of God).

The Message...

So all in all, I think the message is pretty simple here.  The messages were made as clear as clear could be.  Following God is the message.  He sends us messages.  He puts it out there.  Take the message and run with it.  I pray the message doesn't get lost in the bad signals I get through my cell service.  There are so many ways the devil makes his way in.  The more we follow him, the worse it will get.  BRING IT ON!!!
Life takes its ups and downs.  I am in a lull right now.  I am trying to get an agent for my books and I keep running into snags.  I know it is going to be a process but I am creative not logistic.  Though my best friend reminded me today that I can be logistic when I want to be...I just don't think this is that time.  I want to see this through to fruition so on I plunge!  
It has been a week of thoughts and reminiscing around here.  We discovered recently that  a friend of Mike's from many years ago lost his life in a very tragic way.  It brings to light what is important in our lives.  I was challenged by my best friend with what is it that will satisfy me.  My family is what satisfies me.  No matter how many days pop up that make me feel like I have lost my identity, or I wonder what it is I am doing, nothing is so bad that I would give up my core, my true center of my life.  I have things that I love and that I want for myself, but I do not want to sacrifice my family for them.  So amazing what a few loves of your life will do!  5 years ago, you would have never heard those words out of my mouth.

My moments recently feel so intrinsic.  I love my moments and they are beyond rewarding.  They always involve my family.  I love them so much and they make me who I am.  

-Madison crying because all she wants at night is to fall asleep on the couch with us.
-Sitting up very late at night talking with Mike.  He makes my whole world make sense.
-Forgetting to turn the chili on high...I never said the moments needed to be the BRIGHTEST ones!
-Realizing, at least I have goals and projects that I am working on.
-My little baby wanting me to hold her so badly that she crawls between my feet and pulls on my legs.

I have so much right here in my little world.  How could I ever have a moment that makes me feel less than blessed, loved, and well taken care of.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Publix Shopping Trip

I must say I have been very disappointed in meat and dairy lately, however, I made a great trip to Publix today.  Just wanted to share.  I have been at $50/wk for groceries, but I spent $61 today.  $25 of it was meat!!!  I actually bought a lot of food.  I really could have done so much better.  This meat thing is going to be the death of my great shopping trips!

This was 4.5 lbs of pot roast, 4 lbs of ground beef, 4 lbs chicken quarter (which were the only things that were a good deal at .59/lb.  The rest was mostly $1-$2.  10 boxes of pasta, 6 cans of tomato sauce, 3 boxes of Cheerios, 4 boxes of Mac n Cheese, 2 boxes of Italian Ice, 1 box pancake mix, 3 boxes of uncrustables, 2 tubes of Pillsbury cinnamon buns, 1 tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls, 18 eggs, 4 peaches, 4 zuccinni, 1 pint strawberries, 1 package oreos, and 1 pint International Foods creamer.

I am pretty happy with this trip!  This is what I call stocking up.  I bought sale items, used coupons and lots of them.  My cabinet is a bit messy.  I am not so good in that area, but at the very least, we have food and we didn't break the bank to get it!  
Let me finish up this post by saying, I am no "Money Saving Mom" as she could probably get all this for $1.95, but I feel good about it.  I spent $61 on a bill that should have been $120!  Yay!

Any good news shopping trips?  I have heard from a friend of mine who made her first "Southern Savers" trip.  Very proud!  Please, tell me your news!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reading through the Bible, a new frugal attempt, AND I need some advice

1 Kings 17 talks about the widow at Zarephath and her son.  Elijah is told to go to her as she will take care of him.  Not only does this woman have to have faith that AFTER feeding this strange man the little food she has left, there will be enough to feed her and her son and it will not be used up, but she also has to have faith that, when her son falls deathly ill, he is able to call out to the Lord to bring life back to him.  I am sad to say, I do not think I have ever faced faith at this level and in the face of it, I do not know what I would feel or do!  When our children are involved, how easy is it to come by faith?  She asks if he showed up to remind her of her sin and kill her son.  Our life group (small group) from church did a small video study which asked us about those times where we stood, throwing a temper tantrum to God, wondering why we got what we got or why he didn't give us what we wanted.  When if we had hung on just a little while longer, we would see the answers.  It was compared by someone in our group to the song "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks.  He mentioned that they aren't really unanswered.  They just aren't answered the how and when we wanted them to be.  The ability to hang on to see what happens next is difficult when you are speaking of the ones you love.  I would certainly put my own life above that of my child or my husband.  The test of faith continues with the people of Israel at Mt Carmel.  He challenged them in a massive way.  Some might say "all-out"!  18:21 says "How long will you waver between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow him, but if Baal is God, follow him."  He even taunts them when their god doesn't answer their sacrifice.  The confidence he has to stand in front of a nation of people and say, "You idiots!"  (In modern speak!)  It reminds me of Paul, as we will read in coming weeks.  I suppose I would expect them to pick up stones and start throwing them.  They learn how right he is in the end.  When he thinks himself too weak, God steps in and takes over. 

Just a thought...We are challenged often.  I am beginning to believe that the more we are challenged, the more of Christ is in us.  If he didn't believe we could stand up for him, he wouldn't let us be put to the test.  Take it as a compliment the more your faith is tested.  (Or at least, that's what I believe!)

In other news...

Madi has been selling girl scout cookies and has so far come out at the top of her troop!!!  Thank you to anyone who supported her!  You are awesome friends.  She studied all week, not knowing that tonight we are taking her to the conservatory to look at the planets, the moon and the stars.  It is a date night for Mike, Madi and I thanks to some amazing friends, willing to take Mackenzie for the evening.  Mattingly's...We love you!

We are praying that on Monday, Mackenzie gets checked out with clear ears so we do not have to even look into anything like tunes in her ears as they are starting to talk about that now.  Not something we really want to do. 

I also wanted to add, on another frugal living note...we found some other stuff to sell.  I am getting a little braver.  I went to a local thrift store and did a "fill a bag for a buck" thing of clothes.  Then I took them home and listed them on ebay.  You get 3 (I think) free listings in a month.  I made a few bucks on that and an audio book we had.  As I get a little better at it, that could be grocery money! 

I also stumbled upon cash4books.  You submit the ISBN# of books you want to sell.  Seems like a lot of text (type) books.  They tell you how much they would buy it from you for and then they give you the shipping label so you don't even pay for shipping.  I have not had a chance to really go through my books but it is legit and I know people who have done it.  It is super simple.

I also wanted to ask if anyone is getting any other good tips on buying meat.  I have had a hard time lately with decently priced meat.  I know Target marks their meat down as it gets close to the "sell by" date.  Any other good ideas??  I think we are on the brink of exhausting our "meatless" nights.

POST PLEASE!!!  your good ideas on saving money on meat.  We don't ever plan on being vegetarian so that is not an option! 

Any other great frugal things or money making ideas you have come across?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reading Through the Bible and Life Happens

I am sorry to have not written all week again, but Mackenzie is still sick with cold and ear infection and I got sick and got an infection in my eye!  Not conducive to reading a bible and computer time has been out of necessity!  That being said, I am getting very behind.  I do not plan on actually catching up, but just continuing from where I am right now.

Check me out on Facebook.  Become a fan!  I want to get 100 fans by the end of March!  I am getting there!  Share and projects you are working on or thoughts by clicking on the discussions tab at the top of the page!

As for our coupons, shopping, and frugality, things have really been going well.  As I have mentioned, we are following the Dave Ramsey Peace University.  We are really seeing a huge difference in our spending patterns because we are actually watching where all of our money is going.  Our unexpected expenses were not so unexpected and we go over it each week to make sure we keep ourselves in check.  It is showing us where we need to work and where we can relax!  I have become MORE bound and determined to  get my grocery budget down.  Here is what I have discovered:  When you include buying food for birthday parties and guests that come by, you have to have planned better throughout the month so there are no last minute trips.  I have also learned another really important fact about my personality.  I will never...EVER be capable of going back to the way I used to shop.  The rare occasions where I have to buy something at full price, it is PAINFUL!!!!  I stood in the store with Mike, Madi, and Mackenzie the other day holding a block of $4.99 cheese, staring at all of the blocks of cheese.  Mike asked what the heck I was doing.  I was trying so hard to figure out how to make that block of cheese cheaper!!!  Didn't work.  I had to buy it.  Had I done a little better planning or forethought, I would have found something to cook that didn't include cheese, but I was stuck.  Lessons are still being learned.  No matter how much money we have, I will always save money on groceries.

We are taking Madison to the observatory this weekend.  She doesn't know it yet.  We have been doing lap books on the moon and planets and stars so when we go, she can relate to what we see!  Lap books are file folders with pockets, little books, special flaps and each one has a lesson related to the main topic!  GREAT tool I learned from my good friend Christy!  Check them out if you would like to do some fun lessons with your kids.  You can gear them toward any age!

Mackenzie is really communicating well now though she still makes no attempt at walking.  She knows where her eyes, nose, and mouth are and she loves her daddy and big sissy!

We are hoping to all be better this week and back to blogging about the bible.  Hopefully you can all understand my setback and will stay with me as I get back on track!

Moments...(as usual, there are so many so I have selected a few)
-Madison and Mackenzie laughing at each other.  They have become such sisters!
-Mackenzie all bundled up for cold weather.
-Madison selling girl scout cookies!!  I know a few of my good old friends remember those days all too well!

-Feeding the chickens in the freezing cold!
-Making a surprise relax night for Mike with Madi.  She loves to help pamper and take care of him!

Sometimes digging a little deeper makes you  more aware of the details.  How deep do you want to dig?  

I look forward to letting you know what I have been reading and hope you are willing to be patient while I get better!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reading through the bible, budget ups and downs, fun family and friend times

I will start off by apologizing for my long interruption since 2 Samuel.  I had intended to write this weekend, but Mackenzie got sick early Sunday morning with a high fever which led to the Dr. on Monday and a very clingy baby.  She is on the mend of a double ear infection.  AGAIN.  We could be headed for tubes.  That is 3 in 3 months.

Our budget from Dave Ramsey is in full swing.  And when I say swing, I mean swing.  We are adjusting and adapting all over the place.  Not bad stuff, but I can see the high maintenance this is right here in the beginning.  We should figure this out in the next few months.

I am now ready to blog about 1 Kings.  David's son Solomon is now King after his brother Adonijah mistakenly assumes the throne.  David sets is all right.  One of his last conversations with before dying is to tell Solomon to rule with God's word.  Solomon does just that.  He seeks God's wisdom by asking him to (1 Kings 3:9) "give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

God acknowledges that he could have asked for riches or a long life, but he asks for the ability to tell right from wrong!  Hmmmm, what would you ask for given an audience with God?  I think I would have to think about that for a bit.

Solomon is faced with the ruling of the two prostitutes.  They both had babies at the same time while living in the same house.  One rolled over onto her baby and he died, so she stole the other baby.  When that woman figured it out, they argued it in front of the king.  He puts them to the test by saying he will cut the baby in half and discerns who is the real mother because she would sooner give up her baby than see him cut in half.  I like to think anyone would make that same choice!  I would say that was a wise ruling on the part of Solomon!  God continued to give Solomon wisdom.  He built a temple with the aid of the  people of Tyre.  He obeyed God's commands on its structure.  I turn back to the temple from Exodus.  The detail and how each tiny little splinter had a place is amazing to me.  God's interior designer comes out again!  It took 13 years!  God told David that even though he wanted to build a temple, he was not the one to build it, but his son was.  8:22 gives Solomon's prayer of dedication.  He truly had the desires of God in his heart.  He even asks if he will really dwell on earth because even the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this temple.  God visits Solomon again and promises as long as he fulfills God's commands, he will establish his royal throne over Israel forever.  He makes it very clear that Israel will be cut off from the land he has given them if they so much as put one toe out of line.

The Queen of Sheba comes to Solomon to ask for his wisdom to which he has no shortage of answers for her.  This makes me think of times I am asked questions about my beliefs when it feels like God is speaking for me.  I ask him for the right words to come out and they do.  God was with him, aiding him so he could wisely advise her.

But as time wore on, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  I am thinking this is why we eventually got rid of the polygamy thing!  These women led him astray.  Not a good example of women in history.  He turned his eyes to other gods and his heart was no longer fully devoted to God.  The Lord became angry as Solomon did not follow his command to not honor other gods.  He promises to rip the kingdom out of his son's hands and turn it over to another.  To honor David, however, he will leave his son with one tribe.  David's goodness shines long after his death.  Rehoboam succeeded him as king.  He chooses not to listen to his people and they rebel against him.  (Hopefully some of our nation's leaders have read this part!)

Jeraboam now becomes king.  So much of the message in Kings has to do with following God's s commands.   The man of God from Judah who is misled by a man claiming to be a prophet and he ends up being mauled by a lion and left on the side of the rode.  How many times have I been misled into behaving in a way that could get me "mauled by a lion"?  Jeraboam's failure to yield to God and this led to the downfall and destruction of the earth.

More on Kings to come.  Any thoughts?

Exodus 20:1-21 Truth.  God spoke the 10 commandments.  The truth of God's word is a solid a foundation as you can build.  God's commandments make you as true a person as you can be.  The bare-naked truth of God's scriptures leads to that thick  foundation.  What is your thought on God's truth.  The truth that builds us as people and where it comes from.

I have had lots of these lately.  My family is so amazing and I am reminded each and every day about this.

-My favorite moment this week was all of us on the floor in the girls' bathroom while Mackenzie was on the potty.  She was imitating Madi's screeching and buzzing her lips!  We were rolling around with laughter!!!
-Mike had to have his car repaired this week and it was a BIG repair and for the first time in a few years, it was not a catastrophe!
-Being attacked by a sea gull TWICE when walking with the girls on the Boardwalk with an ice cream cone.  Not funny then.  Very funny now!!
-Waking with my baby in the wee hours of the morning to rock her and sooth her.  The rubbed my face.  It felt like she was saying, "I love you!"
-Madison crawling on the floor next to Mackenzie, who was crying a bit, and saying,"I understand, Mackenzie!  No, I really do.  Its ok!  It will all be ok!"  I cannot believe the beautiful young lady she is turning into.
-Our friend Ralfie...more like part of our family, coming to hang out with us.  He come to watch football and have hamburgers and just be here!!  He goes so out of his way to visit us and loves our girls!

Time is so valuable and I am really trying not to waste it, but I am also trying to learn the importance of down time!!!  Mike let me take a nap yesterday and it was amazing!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bible in 90 Days: David, and Facebook

I have made a new Facebook page relating to my posts here.  Please feel free to head over there if you would like to engage in some questions or discussions.  I will also post shopping deals and other information I get right there so become a fan. 

I felt the need to go back a little bit into 2 Samuel to make note of David.  I skimmed right over David and Jonathan's soulful relationship.  I heard a sermon from our pastor on this last year and it was one of my favorites and then, I read it, and skipped making a point of it.  The bond they shared is incomparable to most any relationship I have known, short of marriage!  He was in between loving his father and David.  Jonathan knew what his father was doing was wrong, but loved him anyway.  He also loved David like a brother and warned him of his father's plot to kill him!  This relationship remains evident all the way until the end when David mourns the loss of Jonathan so much, hears later he is still looking for one more tie to him,  to bring in his crippled son, just to feel close to him.  Jonathan was loyal, trustworthy, and honest to his death and David never took him for granted nor did he ever forget.  I feel that loyalty and love for my children and my husband.  I would do anything for them.  Do you have relationships like that?  Some people don't want to let anyone in that close.

I also wanted to point out another part of David that I did not mention.  It applies to many of the other leaders, large and small.  He battled evil.  They all did.  He battled disobedience, immorality, and weakness.  I have skimmed stories sometimes that I have found throughout the bible and felt like I could never live up to someone like David, Moses, Abraham and many many others.  But if you actually read about their live, like you read a story or watch a move, you will see the evidence of their humanness.  They were beyond amazing, but they were not perfect.  They overcame, they fought through, they sought God's guidance, and they prayed.  They far surpassed any trial or tribulation I could come up with and lived to tell about it.  I am well equipped and will not be asked to do something I cannot do.  It should be my mantra.  I need to pray for the wisdom that I am not alone in the things God places on my plate.  Others before me have suffered unimaginable feats.  I have the strength, its just the ability to unveil it when the time is right.

Purpose.  Like identity, I think purpose changes.  There are also multiple purposes.  All God wanted was the people to obey him.  He had delivered them and handed them a promise and all they had to do was obey him.  What is your purpose?  I feel multiple purposes and in some cases they overlap my identity and even my hope.  I live right now for my family.  My purpose is to be an example to my kids, to grow with my husband, to pay it forward through our money, our time and our resources.  They are also my hopes and my identities.  What are your thoughts on this?

I am into Kings, but still felt the need to talk more about David.  I will catch up more soon.

Check out my facebook page  so you can see my shopping deals too.

Here are some pictures of our recent trip to the science center, Madi and her friend Elisha, my desk that has FINALLY been uncovered from the coupon disaster, the girl scouts visit from the DARE officer, and my girls being themselves (Mackenzie likes to crawl inside of boxes and laundry baskets)!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bible in 90 Days, Rainy Days, and IDENTITY

1 Samuel is full of embarassing stories and lessons well learned, shall we say.  Hannah.  A woman of complete and total faith is given a child after being tormented and teased by Penninah because she had given birth to children.  She was ever faithful in turning her eyes to God and when it was time, HIS time, she had Samuel.  I cannot imagine how overwhelming it must have been to be grace with a baby after all of her prayer and patience only to have to give him up immediately.  Her faith in the greatness he was going to be must have been enough to pull her through.  I think I may have died from grief alone.  Samuel learned to hear God with the help of his mentor Eli.  He even tells Samuel that he is going to carry out the things he spoke against his family.  Eli was unable to control his kids!  (WOW!!  If God took a look in our homes and did to us what he did to Eli because our kids were out of control???  There is something to be said for adulthood these days!)  And Samuel had to pass that message on to Eli!  That's what I call the bearer of bad news!!  That would be like telling your Dad that God was about to destroy his home becasue his older two sons slept with half the cheerleading squad. 

Also in Samuel, the Philistines learn that the Ark carries with it plagues and sickness.  Funny how they return it pretty quickly after that!  Embarassing attempt on their part!!  Then there is our ever stubborn children in Israel who are now demanding a king despite God saying all these terrible things that will happen.  Saul learns that it is more important to follow the whole of God's will. Pressure around us has random effects on us everyday.  The ideas of deicphering the voices we are hearing and following the right ones stood out most to me throughout this book.  We see disobedience through the Israelites,  Eli and his sons, Saul, Jonathan, and each time God points out the simplicity of doing what HE asks.  We don't always hear the right voice. 

David arises leaving Saul to feel some bitterness.  Bitterness is something I have battled in my past.  Here Saul had made all these accomplishments and then David comes along to battle this giant leader.  They were praising him and there was even rumore of him becoming king.  How do you deal with bitterness?  I know I shut down.  I have a hard time forgiving and moving past.  The secondary item here is David's smallness in comparison to the mighty hero he was to be! David was an unlikely choice but with the spirit, he was a true superhero!  Victory comes with the spirit. 

Here is how I am thinking to apply this practically:

We may be asked to do things that seem un-accomplishable!  (Is that a word??!!)  But if we hear the voice, do as we are asked, have the faith to follow through, knowing God knoew what he is doing, in the end, we will emerge where he wanted us to be. 

Samuel makes me think of General Hospital!  There is so much drama.  So many stories going on at one time!

We have had 2 rainy days in a row here.  That means school all morning and then figuring out what to do with the girlies!  Madi is definitely the harder one to keep busy.  She loves to have me with her all the time.  Therefore, being in the house all the time means reading lots of books, listening to music, adding school work without adding school work.  (Try THAT one on for size!)  It also means making food every 5 minutes.  By the way, that is an exaggeration.  (We learned that when we did a literature lesson.)  I have tried having snacks pre-prepared and all, but I just can't keep up with my bottomless pit of a child.  Needless to say, it wears me out more to stay home than to be gone all day!

I am oing to be making a quick run to the store for some perishables, but not spending more than $10. 

Now, I am going to close today's entry with identity.  What do you feel is your identity?  How are you finding it?  Has your identity changed over time?  In Exodus 6:6-8 God is again promising to take the Isrealites out of slavery.  That was all they knew.  They knew that they existed to merely serve someone else!  Freedom was foreign.  What would they become?  What would their identity be?  I know my identity has changed several times over the years, however, it all was leading me to where I am now and where I will go in the future.  Sometimes it seems like my identity is only discovered after the fact.  Sounds like a multiple personality disorder.   In all of the things I love, I am always involved in teaching, somehow.  I definitely need to work harder at identifying and using these things. 

So what is your identity?  How do you use it?  How do you find it?  Thoughts?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bible in 90 days (Ruth), Hope, and Dave Ramsey

John 3:16Image by Eat a Crayon Photography via Flickr

We are working on week 6 of Dave Ramsey.  It has felt so good to be putting these baby steps into motion!  They may be called baby steps but they feel like gigantic leaps!!  Imagine, if you will, the image of a man walking on the moon, taking those flying, gravity free, leaps.  That is how freeing and liberating this has been.  We are putting our budget in motion and, although we WILL absolutely have to make changes, our sties are focused and our desire is to hit the finish line (whenever that may be!). 

Mackenzie's birthday weekend was so much fun.  We had her party on Sunday and our families came over.  She was such a riot playing and enjoying her cupcake like we had stifled her for all of her life by never giving her sugar!  Oh, the horror!!!

I have made no shopping trips and do not plan to as I had to include the food I bought for her party in the grocery budget, and all of that food is G-O-N-E GONE!!!  So we will make due with whatever I have stashed away for 2 weeks.  Hope my husband still loves me when it is all over!

I am going to press on now in my blogging in an effort to catch up to where I am reading.  RUTH!!  I love and adore this woman.  Her faithfulness to her widowed mother-in law was unheard of in those days.  I look to Ruth as an example of following your heart.  This book was written in the time of Judges, but was not actually included until long after.  In fact there are many Jewish bible, (I believe) that do not include it at all.  Some look at this as "secretive" or creating a false sense about the bible, however, if you look at the big picture of Ruth, there is nothing to hide here.  She simply wanted to stay nearby the mother of her husband as they were both widowed!  She clung to here.   Verse 17 says "where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."  the faith and the dedication behind her oath to Naomi is rarely surpassed.  Naomi helps her find Boaz whom I believe to have been very impressed with Ruth possibly because of her loyalty and dedication.  He saw her working and living with Naomi and Naomi's returned love for her.  She became the grandmother to David!  Ruth is what I call a quiet woman of the bible.  She is virtually unnoticed but should be highly recognized.  Much the like virtuous woman, she just deserved more attention.  But I suppose that is what makes her so amazing.

1 Samuel will come tomorrow.

I am going to do something a little different to close in my next few blogs.  I want to present an idea with each of the coming 5 blogs.  Our series at church is "For God So Loved..."  and this first week started of with the famous verse John 3:16 and led into what God gave to us.  In Exodus, there are several verses we were given.  The first is 3:7-10.  Here we learn about God giving hope.  Something we all look for, desire, and NEED!!  What are some examples in your life of hope?  What does hope mean to you?  How have you seen hope through God in your life?

Hope is that light when there is nothing to make it feel better.  You grasp at the light, the hope.  We should grasp at the hope in God's promises.  Hope has been threaded throughout my entire life.  Through the worst of the worst, there was a hope I could reach for.  The proof is when I look back and see that God's plan worked.  I may not have wanted to hold out, but He made me and now I look back and say DUH!!  You knew all along.  My hope right now is that my family will be better equipped to reach out to others in the coming years. What are your's?
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]