If Someone Were Watching …

Today our pastor preached the fourth sermon in our month long Choose stewardship campaign. The four topics were Invite, Belong, Serve and Give. This morning’s sermon was on giving, looking at the story of the widow’s coin in Luke 21.

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

brian and Tim

You decide, are these two giving out of their wealth or poverty?

It was an excellent sermon, encouraging us to give generously and delight in God’s blessing in our life as we serve Him with our time, energy and finances. I was struck by the picture of Jesus visiting the temple and observing people as they placed their gifts in the offering.

“What would it be like to have Jesus watching you as the offering plate passed by?” I whispered to Tim, my eyes wide at the thought.

“Um,” Tim’s expression was a bit puzzled, “Kathy, He is watching you.”

Ouch. Somehow the image of Jesus sitting next to me and looking at me while I take and pass on the offering basket was very convicting. Thinking of Him searching my heart and counting all the treasures I’m storing up here on earth, brought a flush to my cheeks.

socks galore

Maybe we’ll find all those missing socks when we get to heaven.

This afternoon we watched a portion of one of our favorite family movies, FlyWheel. Flywheel, produced by the church that filmed Facing the Giants, has a low-budget but an incredible message. I encourage everyone to go out and find a copy of this movie! It is slow in places and the acting “raw” but the transformation of the main character, as he decides to trust God with his whole life, is remarkably powerful.

Early in the movie the family attends church together. When it’s time for the offering, the father takes out his envelope, makes sure it is EMPTY, and then very carefully places it into the basket. His wife sees him and shakes her head with disgust.

If someone were watching…

Jesus sees what I do with my time and my money. The scriptures are full of promises regarding rewards the Lord will give those who are faithful, loving, and generous. Do I trust His Word? Do I believe the treasures I can store up in heaven are worth more than the temporal things of this world?

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:26-27)

It was a day full of conviction and challenge. What would it look like, I wondered, if I gave sacrificially, loved with my whole life, and said “Yes!” to the Lord? Am I willing to be stretched? Do I believe He is watching?

Project 365- Day 273

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Grumpy Mother Seeks Cheerful Programmer

Tim has been working a good portion of the day on a contracting job for a friend. Throughout it all, he has remained cheerful and upbeat. I’ve done almost nothing all day – I didn’t make meals for the family (except to throw some leftovers in their general direction), I handed out laundry and cleaning jobs to the children, I went off shopping with Rachel and got in a power workout – how is it possible I am still so gloomy?

who's there?

Is there a little girl in there somewhere?

Even after reflecting on the day, I’m perplexed as to the cause of my melancholy spirit. Perhaps it’s the rain, which appears to have settled in for the weekend. Maybe it’s the long list of things I “should” do but didn’t get to at all.

ta da

There she is!!

I am thankful for an amazing husband who encourages me, prays for me, and sends me off to enjoy Mommy Time without ever making me feel guilty. At the end of a long day, he still carves out the time to read the Bible to the children.

Bible time

Today’s reading featured Samson and his tragic death.

When Tim shouts, “Who dares not to call for The Chapter?” The children scramble out of their beds and run to hide in our room. He waits an appropriate length of time and then thunders up the stairs to begin the search. All children must be found before he can begin the chapter.

Anything to make family Bible devotions more interesting. :)

we see you

Daniel loves to find clever hiding places.

I think I’ll follow their example and take my BSF lesson up to bed. Nothing like soaking in God’s Word to comfort the soul. At our support group in co-op this week, Holly read this passage:

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Tomorrow is another busy, full Sunday. I need all the ‘quieting’ the Lord can bring into my life. I shake my head in amazement to consider Him taking great delight in me and I turn my ear to listen for the rejoicing song. I am so thankful for His love which accepts me even on grumpy, grey days.

Project 365 – Day 272

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“I Always Have Something to Say”

So says my beloved, 11 year old daughter. No doubt she could write today’s blog in her sleep if I would just do the typing for her. :)

rachel shivers

Here Rachel is saying, “I’m cold, stop taking my picture and get me a sweatshirt.

I’m hungry but it’s close to bedtime and I’m trying to be careful not to eat late at night. I had a lovely cup of tea but somehow it wasn’t quite as tasty as the huge bowl of popcorn Tim and the children devoured. Go figure.

pass the bowl

We watched The Ultimate Gift this evening. It was a moving tale about a spoiled young man who receives 12 gifts from his deceased grandfather. Each gift (or task) is designed to teach him a lesson about life. There are some intense scenes of peril in the second half but our entire family enjoyed the movie.

movie of the night

The Ultimate Gift certainly made me wonder if I am teaching my children the lessons illustrated in the movie – the gift of work, true friendship, the value of money, how to help others, etc. It is so refreshing to find movies the entire family can watch together.

Project 365 – Day 271

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Barely even a blog

When you find yourself crafting opening blogging sentences throughout the day, you know it is a sign that blogging has become a serious hobby. I don’t know if that is efficient or obsessed. Hey, that might be an interesting poll.

Kathy and Tim are:
1) Efficient bloggers
2) Totally obsessed bloggers who need to get a life
3) My blogging heroes
4) Who are Kathy and Tim?

Maybe we’ll save that poll for another time. It turns out I actually do need sleep to function well as a homeschooling teacher and mother of five children. Over the summer I could stay up late blogging and reading, sleeping in each morning. With a full homeschooling schedule, that ISN’T a healthy life plan.

All of which to say, I’m not going to blog tonight. No, I’m not. I’m going straight to bed. Someone else can take over the insightful, amusing, creative blogging for today. I’ll leave you with a picture of my younger two cutie pies and a link.

two silly kids

David and Sarah pose for pictures – this is their “serious” look.

A homeschooling friend recommended Crosswalk as a source of Christian online music. They have 10 music “channels” with everything from hymns, rock, kids and praise music. Crosswalk requires you register to enter the site but there is no cost and the music selection is incredible. As a serious variety chick (always interested in new and fresh music), I love having a new source of music available at my internet/fingertips. I mean, just now I got to hear a rocking version of the Veggie Tales theme song by Rebecca St. James. Wow! Have you heard that one? It’s wild. :)

P.S. Oh dear, even when I’m not blogging, I end up using up more than my share of the blogging web space. NIGHT!!

Project 365 – Day 270

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Reunion Count Down

Next month Tim and I head out to our college reunion. We met at school in Virginia, dated for two years and married 13 days after graduation. Although older by five years, Tim was kind enough to delay his education in order to time things just right so we would both be sophomores (me for the first and him for the second) when we were introduced. This fall we return to those beautiful campus grounds to wander, reminisce and feel old.


Where have the years gone?

When did they start admitting high school students into college?

Since I have squandered away the summer months, eating chips, nuts and other goodies with abandon, I find myself facing a reunion heavier (fluffier?) than I’d like to be. When Tim and I made the arrangements to go to Virginia, I thought for sure I would work diligently for months getting ready. “Ah, finally the motivation I need to hit my goal and get rid of those last 25-30 pounds,” I told myself.

Well, sadly that didn’t happen. I realized, last week, that the reunion was a month away and I was NO closer to my goal. Panicking, I put in a desperate call to my good friend, Julee, and begged for a month long food and fitness plan. “Be brutal,” I told her. “Think Biggest Loser meets Homeschooling Mom!” I quickly added, “remember it’s still “me” so be a gentle kind of brutal.” I’m nothing if not consistent. I wanted to be sure she remembered I have five children and can’t devote 4 hours to exercise every day.

heading off on a walk

Time for a walk with Julee. Gorgeous sunshine.

Two days later I got a call from Julee, calling herself “Jillian” after one of the hard-core fitness trainers from Biggest Loser. Ouch. I was nervous just answering the phone. Ha!

Julee and her husband put together an awesome schedule for me. Colin took my stats – height, resting heart rate, current calories, and weight (gulp) – and devised a caloric intake eating plan just for me as well as a exercise/calorie goal to hit daily. He included me a sample menu and an interval training program. Did I mention Colin is wonderful? Oh yes, organized, thorough and very professional. Maybe there’s a side job in personal training waiting for you, Colin.

I am using an online program, Fit Day, to record my eating. I find it helpful to see the numbers as they add up throughout the day. It’s made me realize (again) that choices like higher fat beef versus chicken can make a big difference in my calories for the day.

I searched for an online exercise/calorie calculators and eventually stumbled upon this one. Enter in your weight and the length of time exercised, the website calculates the number of calories you would burn for 222 activities. This was easier than toggling back and forth on other sites, changing the walk pace from 3.5 to 4 mph, and recalculating each time.

Every night I email my stats to Julee. I know, lucky girl. I need the accountability at this time and she is a tremendous support to me in my efforts. I thought additional well-wishers in my camp would be helpful, so I decided to post my plan here.

Nothing like the blogging world to keep you on the straight and narrow.

If you have any words of wisdom or tips, please share them! I’m determined to make this month count and do my best to be disciplined and faithful in my healthy eating and consistent work-outs. It’s only been a few days but I already feel better and more hopeful than I have felt in a long time. I’m also sore, exhausted and tired of exercising. :)

I am praying it will be a fruitful month. One of the questions on our BSF lesson this week was: How have you recently put your faith into action? I thought about all the ways in which I rely on God’s wisdom, guidance, comfort, presence and then realized beginning this month of discipline is an action I am taking, in faith. I know the Lord wants me to set aside the gluttony and laziness that keeps me from living a healthy, fit life. I am praying that He blesses my efforts and fills me with confidence and determination to continue. I am asking that He prevent Satan from filling my ears with accusations and my heart with discouragement. I am trusting He will be with me on this journey.

Project 365 – Day 269

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