A Full Week

This has been another full week. We had small group one evening. I went to the airport and picked up a friend on Monday night. The kids have been working on their school. Daniel finished another quarter of his low voltage electricity program. I had a mentor coffee on Wednesday. Of course, AWANA kept us busy midweek. I met with a mentee in the morning this week. Daniel did some yard work (at home and for hire). David and I shopped for costume pieces for his Shakespeare play. Sarah decorated her keyboard with Washi tape. It rained some. The sun shone some. We did lots of dishes and laundry. We laughed and studied and fussed.

A pretty typical week. We miss Joshua and Rachel. They are starting spring break this week. Wish we could fly them home for a visit.

A few pictures and a thank you for sticking with us in our 2015 Project 365.

March 26 007 (Large)

March 26 011 (Large)

March 26 020 (Large)

March 26 023 (Large)

March 26 002 (Large)

Project 365 – Day 85

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Lost and Found

You really don’t notice how important some things are until you lose them. Yesterday morning, I was all set to leave for the office when I suddenly realized I was missing an important item: my wallet.

I need my wallet. I need my drivers license to legally drive. I need my transit pass to pay for the train and bus fares. I need the comforting feeling of my wallet in my back pocket so I’m not constantly patting my bottom in an awkward way. (I know this may conjure up some unfortunate images, but the truth is, if I don’t have my wallet, I’ll constantly be checking for it.)

I got a new wallet for Christmas -- I think it is time to move everything over to the swanky new one.

I got a new wallet for Christmas — I think it is time to move everything over to the swanky new one.

So I racked my brain for where it could possibly be. I’m a creature of habit — when I come home, I always put my wallet in a certain place, where I’m sure to find it. I never deviate from this pattern.

Well, almost never. It was several hours later when I found my wallet in the jeans I had worn the previous day, in a pile of dirty laundry. Of course, by that time the last train was long gone.

Tonight, Kathy lost her cell phone at AWANA. In spite of my own recent bout with a lost item, I was immediately suspicious. Her phone is having trouble holding a charge these days, and so I figured this was a crafty ploy to get a new phone. It took about fifteen minutes of searching before she found it at church — she had it on vibrate-only, so we couldn’t hear it when we called.

Kathy's faithful Galaxy S3 keeps chugging along, as long as she constantly charges it.

Kathy’s faithful Galaxy S3 keeps chugging along, as long as she constantly charges it.

Losing things is very annoying — keys, wallets, phones — these are often hard to find and very inconvenient to replace. It makes me wonder why my possessions don’t make more of an effort to be found. Indeed, sometimes I think they delight in hiding from me.

Switching gears, it is sobering to think of how many people are ‘lost’ from a spiritual perspective — lost in their sin, doomed to be separated from their God forever. I’m so glad that I am no longer ‘lost’ in that way, but am Found by the Maker of the Universe.

Project 365, Day 84

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Back on Track

As has been alluded to, we are trying to get back on track with our healthy eating and exercising. Cause, you know, it’s the end of March and there’s still time to fit into bathing suits and shorts without shame. At the rate we’re going, we might not even look good in flip flops.

Poor Tim – I was out late last night picking up a friend from the airport, and I completely forgot to make him a breakfast or lunch for work today. He threw together some things, but was definitely having a HUNGRY day. He texted me this picture in the middle of the afternoon.

Uh oh.  Where's the food?

Uh oh. Where’s the food?

Nothing like re-starting a diet to make you suddenly starving. And it’s the second day! How are we expected to keep going at this relentless pace?

David, Sarah and I did school to distract ourselves.

School reading time!

School reading time!

As part of my food plan/healthy eating, I’ve committed to switching to decaf coffee after lunch. Ugh. Pray for me. Enough said on that subject.

At Costco today, I bought a big bag of lemons. I need to increase my water consumption, and I love fresh lemon slices in a big Starbucks water glass. Even my water makes me think of coffee. Don’t worry, it’s decaf water (in the afternoon anyway).

I decided to make up a batch of the Trim Healthy Mama drink – the Singing Canary. I have made it in the past and thought it only so-so. But I was CRAZY about it today. So delicious. Here’s the link to the recipe I followed: Trim Healthy Mama Singing Canary

So delicious!

So delicious!

It’s got lemons and vitamin C, some protein powder, turmeric and vanilla. It was creamy and delicious. I am definitely making it again tomorrow. Added plus, it’s not the kids’ favorite drink, so I don’t have to share!

Not that I’m greedy or anything. I would totally share. I love you, David and Sarah.

I have to be careful because I know they’re gonna read the blog and then probably ask me to make them a pitcher of Singing Canary.

Here is the original post from the THM sisters discussing all the amazing health benefits of this drink (particularly noted to help with adrenal fatigue): FB Page about Singing Canary

Let me know if you give this recipe a try, or if you’ve already made it. So curious what other people think. There are all sorts of Trim Healthy Mama drinks and smoothies that Serene and Pearl (sisters and authors of the THM book) have created. Most of them have interesting names. Picture telling your kids you’re off to make some Good Girl Moonshine before you head off to church. That’ll raise some eyebrows.

Well, the lack of caffeine is making itself felt. I’m off to bed.

Project 365 – Day 83

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An Unremarkable Day

As much as we try to live a life worthy of the blog, sometimes things are just quiet.

I worked from home today, and nothing really very interesting happened. A bunch of us are restarting our diet, so there wasn’t much culinary interest to the day. I briefly chatted with Joshua, and I helped Daniel craft a job application cover letter. After supper, Kathy and I attended our Small Group, which was ably-led by my co-leader Dave, but I didn’t take any pictures.

Now it is almost 10 pm, and Kathy (who is off picking up her dear friend from the airport) texts me: “Don’t forget to blog.”

She’s entirely relentless about this Project 365 thing. It is astounding to me how often my turn comes up, and how rarely I have anything profound to say.

Fortunately, David and Sarah saved the day with some goofiness in the kitchen, as they washed the dishes. Listening to the two of them sing and have fun with the dishes, I am very thankful that silliness and laughter are a big part of our family dynamic.

I think these two are a few ice cubes short of a full tray.

I think these two are a few ice cubes short of a full tray.

Tonight at our Bible study we were talking about stewardship, and I had a chance to reflect on the areas in my life where God has appointed me a steward. I manage my children, my job responsibilities, and help out with several different ministries at church. My money, possessions and time are all not really ‘mine’, but I am a partner with God in using those resources for His glory.

Clearly I need to spend more time being a steward of my two youngest children.

Project 365, Day 82

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Walking In Faith

What does it look like to walk in faith? Does it involve an ignorant blind trust, stumbling around in the darkness, trying to please a lofty, unknown God? Is it a scary thing, full of the unknown?

As this busy, full day comes to a close, I see that the Lord has been weaving together a message for me. I don’t know if it is meant to be a song, a story, or perhaps a painting. He is the grand artist, creative beyond all measure, breadth or wonder, so I am in awe that He would speak to me and give me even just a little glimpse of His heart.

From this morning’s Sunday School Bible study on Exodus, baptisms, preschool lessons on Luke, an afternoon hospital visit, and a evening prayer walk, I see that He has taken the events of my day, gathered them all up, and used them to paint, stroke by stroke, another one of His masterpieces.

May my ears be open to hear what He wants to teach me. May it deepen my love for Him, strengthen my faith, and produce in me obedience and WORSHIP. That is my prayer tonight as I write this post.

This morning we studied Exodus 19 in our Sunday School class. We are on the cusp of chapter 20, about to see God reveal His 10 Commandments to Moses and the Israelites. We have witnessed the incredible power and might of the Lord’s anger, justice and compassion as He brought the Israelites OUT OF EGYPT. We have watched as the sea was parted, the people delivered, the enemy crushed, food and water provided for – all by the Lord. And today we talked about the holiness of God. He calls the Israelites his treasured possessions. And the people answered – “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.”

They were committing to walking in faith. To follow this God that had rescued them and shown them great and mighty works. Brush strokes – a path is laid before the people.

I hope these boys will all say YES to the Lord's call on their lives!

I hope these boys will all say YES to the Lord’s call on their lives!

Tim ended class early this morning so we could go and watch the baptisms taking place at the end of the 1st service. 15 people chose to make a public proclamation of their faith this weekend at our church. One by one they shared their story. The unique and precious way that they have found their way to the Lord; how He rescued them and revealed Himself to them. One by one – buried in the likeness of His death and raised to new life in Him! More brush strokes – faithfulness chosen. Obedience to the call to be baptized.

Joyful moments.

Joyful moments.

Next David, Sarah and I found ourselves in the 4 & 5 year old class room with 18 preschoolers. What a busy time, full of energy! We play, sing songs, color papers, eat snacks, and listen to a lesson. I LOVE the 4 and 5 year olds because they have thoughts and opinions and ideas and can really LISTEN to the stories from the Bible. Today we studied Luke 17 and heard about the 10 men that Jesus healed from leprosy. We talked about being thankful like the one man who returned to Jesus and praised Him for the healing. But this evening, when I think about Walking in Faith and obedience and living a life that is focused on God, I can’t help but see the faith demonstrated by those men. Jesus didn’t do anything that they could see. He told them to go and show themselves to the priests. Basically He sent them away. And they obeyed Him. They literally walked in faith

Again I am struck by the thread of this message. To Walk in Faith isn’t to stumble along blindly. It’s to follow the One who saves. It’s to trust that He is mighty and powerful and good. It’s to proclaim His message to others. It’s to be obedient. It’s to thank Him when He works in my life.

This afternoon Tim and I went to the hospital to visit the mother of one of my closest friends. Tomorrow she is facing heart surgery. And my friend is out of the country. She flew halfway across the world to walk alongside another friend in the midst of her adoption. More steps of faith. More obedience. Hardship and struggle and delays, but still faithful walking. What is God trying to teach me? What does He want me to learn through all of this?

Covering the bed with flowers and fruit and taking a picture!

Covering the bed with flowers and fruit and taking a picture!

Walking in Faith doesn’t mean easy or simple. It doesn’t mean a life full of ease and comfort without sickness or pain or death. I think it means Hope and Peace. The beautiful face of my friend’s mother as she greeted us with hugs and kisses, as she spoke to the anesthesiologist about the surgery tomorrow, as she shared with us the details leading up to all of this and the outcome ahead of her, and she beamed at the nurse, through it all this face was nothing less than a picture of Faith and Joy. This is a woman who has seen hardship and pain in her life, and yet, through it all she is walking in faith. And she’s walking in faith with a Savior who loves her and comforts her and upholds her. The verse she shared with us:

…yet will I rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)

Her walk of faith challenges me. It inspires and encourages me to press in more deeply to my Savior.

And tonight, cozy and comfy on the couch, Tim called us out of our Sunday evening relaxing and brought us to church for a prayer walk. In the setting sun, joining together with a group of fellow pray-ers, we circled the church grounds over and over. We lifted up the work of the Lord in our community, the future plans for our church, the people loving, serving, growing in our amidst.

Prayer walk - God is moving!

Prayer walk – God is moving!

We walked.
We prayed.

And I had to laugh. All my thoughts about being obedient. All the things I’ve seen and studied and taught ended in a literal WALK. A prayer walk is a physical act of faith – we’re asking God to move and work, and we’re doing so in FAITH that He will hear us, that He will direct our steps. That He will enable us to continue Walking in Faith.

Over and over I am struck by this tapestry, picture, or song that God created for me in this day. I’m facing some definite challenges ahead of me, and I think they are going to involve struggle and possible pain. I’m Walking in Faith that the Lord knows best, that He will guide me, that He will protect me, that He will comfort me, that He will give me wisdom and strength.

Project 365 – Day 81

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