I am ready for 2010. Actually, more specifically, I am ready to leave 2009 behind. (And 2008, too).
And I don't love New Years' Resolutions... because I never seem to keep them and I don't know anyone who does, either. But, I think a new decade is a great time to think about moving forward. There are changes I want to make. I want to be more organized, be more productive in my home, etc. And this is a big one... Sarah (my trainer) got me out of bed this morning before church and we went for a walk/run. It was more "walk" than "run"... but considering I haven't done ANY sort of exercise in months... it was a very good thing. And then I had her take my picture and I cringe as I share it but sometimes it's good to put "my stuff" out there. So we'll call this a "Before" picture and maybe by next year at this time, I will have an awesome "After" picture to show. At least I can tell the doctor the next time I see him, "Yeah, I exercised!" :-)
So, "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come". (I Timothy) It is harder to show you a picture of my heart, but I also hope to have an awesome "after" picture of that, too. I want in this coming year to know God more than I ever have. And to learn to trust him in ways I never have. Actually, TRUST seems to be a theme for me lately with God. And I mean the kind of TRUST where you really think one path would be easiest, but because you believe God's will is for another path, then you take God's path, submitting to his will (and repenting that you ever didn't), doing the next right thing, because regardless of how hard it is and how much pain you will experience (and already have), you TRUST God to know what is best.... that He is all you really need, anyway, and believing that so much that you welcome pain and find JOY on the hard path just because God is there. And you know He will use the pain to for your good, anyway. Even if it's just to draw you closer to Him. That's the kind of TRUST I want to have in God.
And I want to be like Aaron Shust when he says, "Everything I say and do, let it be all for You".
My plans for this:
-- Spend more time sitting with God and listening to him
-- Finish reading the bible this year
-- Memorizing Phillipians (I'm already in the process of this) and after that, memorizing more and more scripture.
-- Find a way to SERVE in the kingdom... something I have been very LAX about
So, WELCOME 2010 and whatever is ahead!
I wanted to share this Sara Groves song, as it resonates deeply with me lately:
Less Like Scars
It's been a hard year
But I'm climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it's
Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember
And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
It seemed out of my hands,
a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like Character
Less like a prison, more like my room
It's less like a casket,more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending
A little while ago I couldn't feel the power or the hope
I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing
Just a little while back I was desperate,
broken, laid out, hoping You would come
And I need you And I want you here
And I feel you And I know you're here
You can listen to it here.
God is Good! :-)
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Posted by Brenda at 6:44 PM
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Libby loves her Vera Bradley Purse....
Here we are with our annual paper crowns:
Posted by Brenda at 3:56 PM
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Posted by Brenda at 5:11 PM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Inspired by an idea from my friend Deanna's Blog (not for the first time!), I went and bought some of this: And made these for gifts for two of my kids' teachers:
I loved the idea for giving school supplies because there was no state funding for such things this year and they are continually needing them. The pencil holders were made from washing out large tin cans and gluing on scrapbooking paper with Mod Podge. The bottles are hand sanitizer. (If you want to make some yourself... you might have better luck following Deanna's instructions!)
Thanks to Tim for the picture... my camera is not working at all now. (Hint, hint, Santa).
Posted by Brenda at 1:35 AM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"I am the light of the world Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" John 8:12
There are over 31,000 verses in the bible. (I know because I googled, "How many verses are in the bible?". And btw, it didn't escape my notice that like 15 years ago BG (Before Google), if I wanted to know how many verses were in the bible, I would have had to count them. That would have taken a little longer... ;-))
Back to my point.... Can it be a "coincidence" when I just looked up John 8:12 yesterday afternoon for my Luminary post... and then a couple hours later, went to bed, picked up my "Sunset with God" devotional and found that same verse quoted in last night's thoughts?
Well, it could be... but it's not. It was just God's "hug goodnight", as I turned off my light to sleep, remembering that He is "light and in him is no darkness at all". (That one is from 1 John).
Just wanted to share.
Posted by Brenda at 6:53 AM
Monday, December 14, 2009
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" John 8:12
On an evening near Christmas every year, we line the streets in our neighborhood with LUMINARIES. It's sort-of fun to be out with our neighbors working on this project and helping each other by offering matches and suggestions.
This year, to bring The Light of the World into something that begs to include Him, I offered a silent prayer for someone (or a whole family) as I lit each candle.
I tried not to appear irritated when my neighbor from next door finished her luminaries and then offered to help me light mine. I wanted to say, "Um....no, thank you. I'll light them myself. Please go away. I'm busy praying.".... but instead I said, "Thank you, that would be nice!" I still offered a prayer for the four she lit.
The last prayer I said was to thank God for his gift of Jesus!
Posted by Brenda at 5:24 PM
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Posted by Brenda at 5:17 PM
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I had a strange awareness this morning in church of COUGHING and other such noises that our bodies make. Most of the time when we are in a group of people, we block out the background noise. Today, I became aware of it... not sure why or how... and I spent some time focusing on it. I guess if we have to cough, we have to cough and there's not much we can do about it. But... it really happens alot more than I realized.
To research this phenomenon, this morning I counted 41 coughs and/or throat clearings during the time it took the communion juice to be passed around. This doesn't count sneezes, sniffles, pews creaking, things being dropped and children screaming. Normally that is a "quiet" time in the assembly when I reflect on what Christ's blood means to me... but today I couldn't concentrate for hearing all the commotion.
Let's say it took approximately 5 minutes to pass the communion trays, and there were about 900 people in attendance. That's 5 percent of the congregation coughing in a 5 minute period. Now, I can't verify how many of those were repeat-coughers, but that's alot of coughing. That's about 8 per minute or one every 7 seconds... not really enough time to complete a thought before being interrupted again.
The question arose in my mind... why is it so hard to find QUIET? It's like our bodies themselves just can't be quiet.
So far, though, I didn't have any point with wanting to share this and was going to tell you not to bother to look for one.
What's interesting and where I started to see a "point" developing is that in looking for an appropriate image to share, I discovered an alternative-rock band from the 90s called .... Soul Coughing.
So was I hearding a bunch of soul coughing in church today?! Now, I don't recommend this band- I read some of their lyrics and listened to them on Youtube and they're just weird. But I like their name and it made me think about what a real "soul cough" would be.
First, what is a physical cough? I googled it and this was the first thing I got.... "Coughing is a reflex action...the resulting blast of air comes out at high speed, scrubbing and clearing the airway of dust, dirt or excessive secretions......The cough reflex is a vital part of the body's defence mechanisms. Normally, the lungs and the lower respiratory passages are sterile. If dust or dirt get into the lungs, they could become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause pneumonia or infection in the breathing tubes...
...Coughing usually means there is something in the respiratory passages that should not be there."
And I thought my wandering mind wasn't focusing on the blood of Christ during communion!.... what an awesome way to think about Christ's blood... it's like a Soul Cough... a way of cleansing out the things that shouldn't be there, the dust, dirt and excessive secretions.... leaving us healthy and preventing our hearts from becoming breeding grounds for the infection of sin.
Posted by Brenda at 4:32 PM
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thanksgiving: my favorite holiday of the year.
Kids' table (minus Jacob who is entertaining the guests in the corner of the room):
Libby was an amazing helper to me, cooking and cleaning! She even found a use for my Pumpkin Moon container.... plasticware dispenser! (Yes, I used plastic rather than wash dishes and I would do it again).
Happy Car Riders:
Fun times at the hotel pool:
The family eating Chinese food (a theme?) at Discover Mills (mall). Jacob (intentionally) looking like a demon child from a horror movie!
Tim and Jacob in the Lego store:
Sarah and Jacob napping at the hotel after having to be at the rink at 5:50 a.m. Saturday:
Sarah was exhausted from plenty of waiting around:
Jacob was exhausted from plenty of this (he's number 46):
But it was all worth it to get this: (his face is directly to the right of the trophy)
Taking his turn holding the trophy:
Posted by Brenda at 3:17 PM
Friday, November 13, 2009
Busy, busy, busy. I feel like lately I am running from one thing to the next, with little time for resting. And, I'm all about resting.... so this isn't how I like to live my life! :-) Right now my parents are in town and I am LOVING that! :-) But it's their fault I'm not blogging like I normally do.
Sarah was a "nerd"- and I never saw her completely dressed because she went with a friend, but these are the glasses she wore. (No offense to anyone who actually wears glasses like this....)
I have more to blog about, but I'll save those things for future posts!
Posted by Brenda at 4:52 PM