Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

87 Days...



Facebook keeps reminding me that its been 87 days since my readers have heard from me.  And I think, that can't possibly be.  But it's true.  

Let's bullet and catch up and then try not to get so far behind.  


  • Tonight we start class 5 of 10 for foster care training.  We've had 1 of 3 home visists by the licensing worker, and everyone we know has been contacted or asked to fill out various paperwork on our charachter and overall well being.  We've filled out a bajillion forms and answered questions that date back to childhood.  Next week, alllll of us go in for physicals to prove that we are healthy enough to foster.   Fun times.  
  • I've read four books on my own, all based on parenting kids with trauma.  Can you guess my area of concern?  
  • Every week at our training class (which lasts three hours) we have to do group work.  I hate group work.  And class participation.  It's the worst.  #introvertproblems.
  • In the past 87 days we have bought a fire extingusher, lock box for medications, a fire escape ladder, and have gotten the bedroom all set up and ready to go.  It's so dang cute.  
  • Plans for particular kids have been back and forth and on and off and then on again.  It's a roller coaster that often leaves me feeling sick to my stomach, and impatient.  It's all part of the gig.  I repeat to myself over and over.  And over.  They are worth it.  All of it...even group work, is worth it for the kids.  My "no" is far harder on them than my "yes" is on me.  
  • I got that last part from Jason Johnson's Blog.  It's some of my favorite reading material.  If you're interested in foster care, or simply have someone in your life that is involved in foster care, go check it out.  I've learned so much, and I wish I had read it before we got into foster care, because I feel like it would have helped me better support our friends who were doing foster care!  
  • There's lots more to our life than foster care.  I promise.  Our kids are growing like crazy.  And man, I just like them.  I often wonder how I got such great people.  It's all by God's grace.  I think I may have always secretly wondered that after they got out of the cute little-kid phase I might find them annoying.  HA.  Again, introvert problems.  But, it turns out they are only annoying a leeetle bit of the time.  It's fun to see them grow and mature.  At the same time, I'm going to have a high school kid next year.  And he's currently in drivers-ed and it makes me happy and sad all at the same time.  
  • I got a fit bit for Christmas and lost it last week.  I'm undecided if I'm replacing it.  I wasn't a huge fan of wearing it, and it's constant judging was a tad annoying.  But still.  It's like that dysfunctional friendship you just can't let go of...
  • I'm working through this Bible Study and I love love love it.  It's not super dynamic and exciting, which is what people are generally looking for.  It's practical and life changing.  "God's Word is for you, and for now."  Plain and simple.  If we ever want to truly know God and be changed by Him, we need to be in His Word daily and regulalry.  It's Living Water.  
  • So there's my life for the past 87 days.  Sorta.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's Just a Nose

Let's catch up.  A little, anyways.  And by a *little* I mean the longest post on a nose piercing EVAH.  It's for documentation.  *preserving memories for the next generation*   

In January our Ladies Bible Study did What Love Is by Kelly Minter.  I've been a part of a lot of Bible studies, and this one ranks at the top for me.  Deep and practical and just plain amazing.  I learned so much.  

That's sort of a side note for you.  Ha.  Anyways.  This was one of our larger groups of ladies.  14 in all.  So at the beginning of each night of study, we would open with a little "get to know you" kind of question.  Totally random.  I think one of the questions was "What is something we'd be surprised to know about you."  It was interesting, let me tell you.  

I had trouble coming up with something to tell the group because frankly, I tell them a lot about me...because I talk too much (about myself) when I feel awkward in a group that I'm leading.  Super annoying.  I think I eventually blurted out that I had always wanted to get my nose pierced but that I probably couldn't because of church-y stuff and church-y people.  *whatever that means*

I think that I thought they would all agree with me.  But they didn't.  They totally encouraged me to do it.  They are wild and crazy:  Obviously.*cough*

And that's where it took root.  The truth is, that many times before I had thought about getting it pierced,  and prayed about it and just never got the "go-ahead" from God.  Because timing.  

This time when I began to pray about it again, and talk to Ben about it (because if I did it, it was his problem too ;)  And this time, it was a total go-for-it.  And I panicked a little.  Doubted that it realllly was OK to do it.  Had visions of church members firing Ben because of his heathen wife. *exaggerate much?*   After about a month of this on-going debate in my head, it was as if God said to me, "I gave you the OK, STOP ASKING IF IT'S REALLY OK!"  He's always loving and firm with me.

By this time it was the end of February, and on a Saturday night our Ladies Bible Study all went out for dinner.  Two of the ladies, who already had their nose's pierced decided we should get mine done after dinner.  Of course they did.  So after dinner, most of the ladies went down to a local coffee shop and we headed to the piercer and told them we'd meet them for coffee when we finished.  

Because this is the stuff you do with your Ladies Bible Study, right?!?  

The first place we got to was already booked-full for the night.  It's in a college town, apparently all the college kids get pierced on weekends.  They talked me into trying the tattoo parlor, because obviously they were skilled with needles.  

OK.

As we walked up to the door, a man (with a completely tattooed FACE) locked us out.  It wasn't meant to be.

We settled for coffee.

But Monday morning, (Ben's day off), he drove me to the Piercer and a few minutes later...it was done.  

Side note:  The gal who pierced it, had several piercings.  I tried to make small-talk because *hello, I do that when I'm nervous and I'm awkward* but she was not amused.  At one point I said something about how it really shouldn't hurt me so much, I mean I'd birthed four kids.  She replied with, "You'd think."  I probably told her I was a pastor's wife too.  I'm sure she cared.

Afterwards we went out for burgers and then went grocery shopping, like we do every Monday.  I tried to act all normal, but dude.  I had a little fake-diamond IN MY NOSE!  I felt awesome.  Not gonna lie.

First Day



By the time Sunday rolled around, I was getting pretty used to having it.  I psyched myself up as I walked the 27 steps over to church.  This would be the first time all the non-facebooker's would see it.  

And none of them noticed it.  Or at least they didn't act like they noticed it.  All my fretting and worry and...nothing. 

The one outspoken older fella finally noticed it a couple weeks later.  He just laughed and gave me a thumbs-up.  He also suggested I not put anything "huge" in it, and requested I not get a tattoo.  Heh.  No problem.

Life with a nose piercing was good.  Until I accidentally pulled it out with a cotton ball while applying toner to my face.  I tried shoving it back through to no avail.  *owie owie owie*  I ended up driving straight to the piercer and they put in a new one like it was easy peasy.  It turns out, it's easier when you know what you're doing.

After that trauma, I developed the cursed nose-bump.  A tiny little wretched red bump next to the piercing.  You can google it.  Ha.  I did...and tried every remedy under the heavens to get rid of it.  Soak it with sea salt, crushed aspirin, saline, leaving it alone, blah blah blah.  None of it worked.  Ben and my friends kept reassuring me that they didn't even notice it.  I am surrounded by liars.  *smile*

And then finally, on IG, I saw someone that had to switch to a 18k gold one because their body was reacting to the metal.  So I caved and ordered a $45 teeny tiny gold stud for my nose.  Because: Desperate.  And also: More money than I've ever spent on earrings.

It came, I put it in myself, and within a week the bump healed.  HEALED.  

And now I love it.  It's part of me.  My friends told me it gives me some street cred.  So I guess I'm sorta legit now.  Or something.



My brother, who's 11 years younger than me, jokingly called me a rebel.  I laughed, because of the story I just wrote above.  Piercing my nose may be one of the least rebellious things I've done.  He was pretty happy about it though, because he had gotten a tattoo about a year before and had been dreading telling my mom.  He figured if she could handle my nose, then she could handle his tattoo.  He was right.  

But at least mine is not permanent - Said The Responsible Older Sister.

The End.

*Also, you can go to the Life in the Parsonage facebook page and "like" it to get blog updates too.*










Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Muckity Muck


Every-other Tuesday night I get to be a part of a Bible study with a group of ladies.  I've been able to do it since moving here...and the group dynamics are always changing, which makes it new and unique with each study.  God has used those studies to mold and shape who I am.  It's been a process.  A long, on-going process.

We are currently doing one called Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.


The study itself is really fantastic.  Truly.  What makes it even more significant for me personally, is the place that God has brought me to before starting this study.  All the details and circumstances that fell into place, in life and ministry, so that He could use this study to so speak to my heart.  Making His voice clear.  Resounding.  Confirming.

The past 12 months have been ones that I will go back to over and over and over in my head and in my heart.  Always remembering how He worked out good.  We walked through some murky waters, knowing that things would settle and clear.  Knowing that sometimes things need to be stirred up and mucky so that they can eventually be clearer.  Better.  And even though you know that...walking through the muck:  Is never very enjoyable.  It's still muck, even if there's purpose in it.  And just when you think it will never settle and clear.  It does.

In the midst of the murky waters, God gave me a verse.  Isaiah 43:19 NLT  "For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

Through His Word, He confirmed for us what He had spoken to our hearts.  He gave us a tiny glimpse into His plan, and it was enough to settle our hearts, and strengthen our spirit to continue in the stirred-up mire until the time He saw fit to make it clear.  

He cleared it.  And day after day, week after week, I stand in awe as I watch Him move and work in the hearts of people around me...including myself.  I will never know why He saw fit for us to be a part of His plan here, but I am so thankful for His grace and strength that makes it possible.  




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Because Random is Best

I got nothing but random today.  Or any day.



  • Blogger is not letting me put my instagram pictures in a post today and that is annoying.
  • We have another Winter Weather Advisory.  Lame. Winter is wretched.
  • Yesterday I signed up for a local race thing called the Triple Crown.  Which means I will be running a 5k in April, a 10k in July, and a half-marathon in September.  It makes me have that excited/nervous gut feeling.  
  • I am in awe of what God is doing in our church right now.  And that is cool.  
  • I mentioned Made to Crave the other day.  I'm down 5 pounds in 2 weeks, mostly because I realized how much I was going to poor-food-choices for wrong reasons.  I realized I have a few entitlement issues when it comes to sugar. The "I Want + I Can = I Should"  Bigfatlie. I'm learning to battle that with God's truth, which is so much different than battling them with self control.  It's that 1 Corinthians 10:23 idea that even though it may be permissible, it doesn't mean it's beneficial.  Changing my way of thinking and doing is going to take much longer that losing a few more pounds, I guarantee that.  
  • Lucy just dug through all the cupboards because she didn't believe me that we were out of Nutella.  I wonder who she inherited that from? 
  • The new way of blogging is still weird to me.  I'm not a fan.  I'm really uncomfortable with all the self promotion it takes.  It's totally fine for other bloggers...it's just not me.  I really don't care about page views.  I just want to write uninteresting stuff, with unprofessional pictures and offer very little "How-To's."  And that's what I'm gonna do. The rest of the internet calls it "How to Kill Your Blog."    So be it. 
  • I love blogging. Old School.  
  • You have a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Made to Crave

It's hard not to post about the weather...it was -50 here yesterday, and today is "warmer", but still frigid enough for the school to cancel evening activities...and for us to postpone the start of our new study. 

Add that to the list of why I love/hate Iowa.  

Tonight our Ladies Bible Study was supposed to start Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst.


I read the book awhile ago, and loved it, but this will be my first time going through the study.  It applies so well for all ladies.  Sure, not everyone has a weight problem,  but I haven't met a woman yet who didn't at one time or another, struggle with a "food" problem.  Or at least a craving problem.  

We were made to crave.  Oh how easily we replace what we're really needing with what we really don't need at all.  It applies to so much more than food.

So. Much. More.

I'm sure what I'm learning is gonna show up here, so consider this fair warning.  

Anybody read the book or done the study?  


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stuck


So.  Forever ago (October 19th to be exact) I told you that TOMORROW I would tell you about one of my favorite Bible Studies that our group is currently doing...

And tomorrow turned into December 2nd.  My bad.  

But I can say, that I'm further into the study than I was back in October and it.is.so.good.

It's called STUCK.

One of the best ways I can describe it, is that God has used it as a sort of means of bringing refining, and purifying to my spiritual life.  It assaulted all my "good enough" perceptions of myself.  It made me look at areas of my life, my personality, with a fresh perspective...or a fresh dose of reality.  And a lot of what I saw in me needed to be surrendered.  Crucified.

It's interesting though.  Much like what happens when someone is presented with the Gospel of Christ...their hearts are softened or hardened by it's message, I've noticed that through this study, dealing with these areas of sin causes us to either soften and repent or bristle and ignore.  Whether we like to admit it or not, it's a reflection of our spiritual condition.  I love a study that can do that.  One that can cut to the quick of God's calling for us. 

It's so very good. 

  




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Anything

It probably began last winter sometime...I began thinking a lot about prayer.  When we would ask for prayer requests at church, in Bible Study, Sunday School, they always looked the same.  Most were about physical needs.  Some were about life situations and very, very few were about our own spiritual struggles.  

And it bothered me.  It bothered me that in my own life prayer had become about petitioning God for what I thought was best.  Bring healing.  Provide here.  Work out this situation.   Bossy.  

I couldn't shake that nagging thought of, "Who are you, to think you know best?"  

Because I know myself.  And I know nothing about how anything is going to turn out.  Ever.  I make wrong assumptions, wrong choices, often with wrong motives.  And yet when I spoke to my Holy God, I came before Him with instructions.

Why?  WHY?  There were a couple reasons.  One:  That's how people around me pray.  We all do it.  I mean, when the prayer line comes around to me and I say, "You got this God.  Do what honors and glorifies You...and no matter what that is, help us to draw close to you and bring You glory."  What are people gonna think?!?  It might end up sounding like I am just in a hurry.  So instead, I list out a few (not all) and then wrap it up. People pleasing at its finest.  Two:  If I  just list out instructions, then I'm not responsible for really accepting His plan.  And I think I'm in control, and that makes me feel better.  Except that is doesn't.  Because ultimately I know that I'm a moron and shouldn't be left in control. Of anything.

And then this spring I got an email.  They'd like to know if I would review a book.  And it's called Anything.  And in my gut I know this is God's timing.

It's called Anything: the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul by Jennie Allen.

If you want less God, then you will hate this book.  If you want to remain in control because you know best, this book is not for you.  

But if you are feeling that nagging-in-the-gut that you are holding back from God...then read this.  I promise you it will hurt so good.

Part 1 of the book is called Everything Keeping us from Anything, and I read through that thinking yep, yep, yep.  Right on.  

Part 2 is called Praying Anything and that's the part of the book where the tears begin to flow...because the prayer of Anything is hard.  And scary.  But essential if we want to know the fullness that God has for us.

And Part 3 is my favorite, called Living Anything.  Jennie gets down to the nitty gritty of what that means, and how (practically) that works out in our lives.  

Jennie's writing style is easy, and honest and simply to the point.  I adore it. 

I've found that Anything is a prayer I pray, and then often try to take back.  I often pray anything, and mean anything but that.  I'm a work in progress, and two steps forward and one step back is still better than being stuck.

And Stuck is what I'm talking about tomorrow.  Stick around.  And say hello.  Stalkers. ;)
  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Around Here...


While perusing the aisles of Target recently, I bought this laundry detergent based solely on the fact that I loved the box.  It's pretty.  It cost more than the stuff I usually buy.  It brings me cheer.  

And it smells good.  



I can't get enough of this Bible study by Beth Moore.  It has me reading commentaries.  And rubbing my temples because sometimes it makes my brain hurt.  In a good way.



I've been doing a little sewing.  Nothing fancy.  I made this little cushion for the rocking chair that Lucy got for Christmas.  She insists on not sitting on the cushion...she flips it up every time she sits down. 


Baby Alive goes everywhere.. is everywhere.  Lucy loves her.  She is also always naked.  I'm not sure what Lucy has against her babies being clothed.  


The Kindle Fire...it's dreamy.

I've been working on getting things organized around here.  Again.  The funny thing about organizing is that doing it once does not keep you organized.  Apparently it's an ongoing thing.  A Lifestyle.  Shocking, huh?  


I prefer the organize then get messy then organize then get messy approach to life.  Right now, I'm in the organize phase.  Which is sort of ridiculous since I'm also in the remodel/addition phase of our home.  


By the way, the downstairs of the addition got painted last week.  EEK!  But when I try to take pictures of it, well, let's just say it looks weird.  More on that later.


Messy faces...
 Thanks to pinterest.  Again.

I recovered the dining room chairs again.  This time I used a "laminated cotton" so it's wipe-able without being to plastic feeling.  So far, I love them.  


This hangs on the fridge...bossing me around every day.  



And that there is a whole lot of random.  As is our life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hemorrhaging


Day 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31 of 31 Days of Happy


It's hard to believe that October is almost done, along with 31 Days of Happy.  Maybe I'll spend the month of November posting on all the things that do not make me happy.  HA.  Kidding, only kidding.  


It's a little tempting though.  


Back to happy...


One of the major things that has been on my happy list this month is the Bible study that our ladies are doing.


This one:




This is our third Beth Moore study.  They're all amazingly good...but this one...extra extra good.  

I keep going back through it to re-read what I've underlined, to rehearse what I've learned again and again.  (we're only on week 4 of 10) 


There's something Beth Moore says, in particular, that I just can't get out of my head.  


"Without God's intervention, we can offer only a small bandage to someone hemorrhaging from uncontrolled emotions.  We may bring calm for a moment, but our efforts will have little lasting effect."


It's a word picture that I can't get out of my head.  It's so very, very true.


Maybe it's because I'm in ministry...or maybe it's just because I'm an average person like everyone else, but so many around me are very literally hemorrhaging with problems.  With issues.  With emotions.  With life.  


Can you picture someone hemorrhaging?  I've heard stories.  It's not pretty. It's not a slow bleed.  It's fast, and furious, and messy.  If not stopped quickly, it means death.  The doctor doesn't have a patient hemorrhage, and decide the best course of action is a band-aid.


My words may be able to calm...for a moment.  Which is good.  But they do not fix the problem.  They are not meant to fix the problem.  


Only God's intervention brings healing.  He's the only thing strong enough to stop a hemorrhage.  So many times we want someone to give us the answer. Give us the 5 step plan, or better yet 3 steps...shorter is always better, right?  And when the person we go to, lets us down or doesn't have an answer, or can't even help, we lose hope or worse yet...give up.  We continue to hemorrhage.


Only God brings the healing.  And before the healing can start, He has to stop the hemorrhage.  The way He chooses to stop it, well...that's up to Him.   What's up to us, is whether we will let Him or not.


In my experience, there's a vast number of people that would rather die hemorrhaging than surrender and let Him intervene.  


And I don't get it.  I just don't.


But that little quote of hers...it's gotten to me.  And God's using it to remind me of who I am...which is just someone He uses to send encouragement and truth.  And who He is...which is the Healer.  He is a great-big God.    

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Get Excited...

I get excited about stuff.  


I do.  It's who I am.  How I'm wired.

Unless you're new to me, this doesn't come as a surprise to you.  


There's an ebb and flow to life, and there's an ebb and flow to what I'm currently excited (and by excited I mean obsessed) about.  Kinda like seasons, I guess.


I give you my top 7 as of late:


7.  My Menu Board

6.  The Packers.  I love them, and though I've only been a fan for a few short years, I've invested myself fully :)  and my Noah couldn't have been happier on Sunday.


5.  Sewing.  This one sort of came out of nowhere.  But I'm having fun with it.


4.  Cityville.  It's a dumb facebook application that really should not be all that fun, but lately I find it completely entertaining.  I blame it on February in Iowa.


3.  New Tupperware.  Sounds ridiculous, but when did Tupperware get so cute?!?  A friend had a party and I got this stuff and I can't quit looking at it and smiling.








2.  Reading.  I've rekindled my love of reading.  I don't really get into fiction all that much, but anything else will pretty much do.  My husband (the pastor) also shares the same love so there are piles of books every.where.  One of the last books I finished, I actually read the last page and immediately started at the beginning again.  I love a book that grabs me by the shoulders and gives me a good *shake* to wake me up, make me think.  Crazy Love did that.  And it's ringing in my ears and heart daily that status quo is not good enough...it's garbage, actually.




1.  Spending time with my God.


I recently watched a friend walk through a really tough life situation.  Suddenly everyone who vaguely knew her wanted to be her friend in order to help...in reality, if they had really known her, they would have realized that some of the very things they were doing to "help" were actually causing her more grief.  Their intentions were good, but it irritated me no less.  And it got me thinking...


Do I do that with God?  Do I say I know Him, yet fail to spend time with Him daily, hourly...regularly.  


Relationships never grow without communication.  Ever.  And the closest of the relationships in my life are with the people I rub shoulders with on a daily or regular basis.  Sure, there's some long lost friends that I can go without seeing and then pick up where we left off...but it's picking up where we left off...not from a place of deep understanding of one another in the current.


And there is a difference.  


I realized I was doing this with God.  And I grieved.  


I want to know Him daily.  Because that is really the only way that He is able to transform me.  


Which leads me to this little book:








I notoriously dislike devotional books.  I'll spare you  my list of reasons, but mostly...they annoy me.  


It never fails that God works greatly in  my life through things I find annoying.


Over Christmas, I picked up a flyer that had the above book, Jesus Calling pictured in it.  And, because I judge books by their covers, and thought this would look super cute on my pile of books, I grabbed my cell and asked my mom to pick me up a copy at the store by her house.  It was very random...so I thought.


As soon as I picked the book up, I was hooked.  I read through the whole thing like a novel.  It's written as if Jesus is speaking right at you.  The "I," "Me," "My," etc always mean Jesus, while the "you" and "your" mean me, the reader.  


I fell in love with it.  The kicker:  It's a devotional FOR KIDS.  Crack me up.  


Oh it gets better.


About the same time I was searching for out next Ladies Bible Study material. We were wrapping up Forgotten God (amazing, by the way) and everything I thought was gonna be a great idea, just never quite felt right.


And then He hit me with it.  I wasn't the only one who needed to be spending time with Him on a daily basis.  I sat on the idea of it for awhile, hoping I hadn't quite understood Him right.  After all, the lovely ladies in our Bible study more than graciously put up with my craziness, however presenting them with the idea that our "study" is actually going to be a devotional book for kids was not really what I wanted to share with them.  Because who comes up with that?!?  


God does.


Without a doubt.


And because it's His deal, and not mine, they were totally game for it.


Tonight, we meet together for the first time after starting this "study" and I'm so excited to see what God's doing.  


I'll leave you with this little nugget from the book, that I've been chewing on since January 30th:


... whatever you think about the most becomes your god, your idol, the thing you worship.  From Jesus Calling for Kids

I can't get past it.  How many things do I think about more than Him?  He's changing me though.  Through this time with Him, daily, hourly...He's rising to the top.










Friday, June 5, 2009

The Opposite of Deep Thoughts

Because I feel like  boring you...

  • I cannot stop thinking about the last chapter of The Bible Study we finished.  Self-Control.  I went through it at a snails pace, trying to soak it all in.  I keep reading and re-reading it in hopes that it will consume me until I actually start doing it.  Beth Moore says it best, "Many times we don't have a knowledge problem, we have an obedience problem."  Yep...that would be me.
  • Ran 6 miles last night faster than normal and it felt great!  Weird how that happens.  I'll attribute it to these little tasty things.   I'm still trying to get the hang of eating them while running without choking on their sugary goodness.
  • My baby boy turns FOUR tomorrow.  Why four already?!?  Just yesterday...
  • Turns out saying I'm going to take a break from blogging actually makes me feel free to blog.  Weird.
  • I'm going to start writing down everything I eat in order to shock my brain out of denial about what I'm really eating.  My poor brain...it's in for a rude awakening.  
  • I'm off to Wal-Mart with 3 boys.  Good times.  You can bet that along the way I will mull over whether or not I will swing by Starbucks and 
  1. spend too much money on a sugary delicious drink.
  2. then be forced to write it down in my new Dwight Schrutte notebook that I bought at Target because I totally thought it would be perfect for my new food journal.
  3. both try to remember and forget what Beth Moore had to say about self-control.
  4. wish I didn't really have a free will and that God would just make me do as I should...it would be so much easier, no?
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

He's Got a Plan...

When God is trying to teach me something, He hammers me from all sides. I'm pretty sure this is because if He tried from just one angle, I could pretend to ignore it. Generally, whatever He's trying to teach me is something that my natural self wants to just ignore...because it's gonna be hard. And I'm lazy.

It's also gonna be for my own good, because He loves me like that...enough to not let me settle for where I'm at.

Back in January two things happened.

  1. The Bible Study, Living Beyond Yourself began. He used amazing women to bring this about, from the idea of it, to another bloggy pastor's wife to send me the DVDs, without hesitation!
  2. The 1/2 Mary idea. An idea that I'd never even considered, because who in their right mind wants to run that long?!?! NOT ME. The idea was first planted by a good friend...and from there the Holy Spirit just would not let me get it out of my head.
There's a reason. There's a theme. The most important, spiritually, is that I have GOT to live beyond myself...I cannot make it on my own strength and abilities. I just cannot. It's one thing to know this, it's a whole other thing to actually stop doing it on my own, and allow Him to do it.

Here comes the 1/2 Mary plan into motion. I do not love running. I want to, I really want to. The idea of training for the 1/2 is as daunting as the 13.1 mile race for me. Because on my own, I'm lazy. And a quitter. And He whispers to my heart,
You're right Sarah...you won't make it on your own, that's why I'm here. And I'm not gonna let you quit, because this lesson here, it's so, so important my child. It's time to start living beyond yourself...spiritually and physically, because then maybe you'll get what I'm trying to teach you here.

And you know what? I believe Him. I'm scared. And I'm skeptical. And I'm still lazy and whiny...but He doesn't care and He doesn't give up, because He knows that when I finally "get" it, it's gonna all be worth it.

It's gonna be worth it.

I love songs that just speak exactly what I'm feeling...this one hits it dead on. If there's one thing that people walk away from, after knowing me in person, or through this blog, is that I am nothing without Him, nothing without His love.
Enjoy :)



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Speaking To Me...

One of the things that sticks out the most from Ben's seminary days is the Greek flash cards.  I forget how many years of Greek and Hebrew he was required to take...I'm pretty sure I've blocked it out ;)  Anyways, I vividly remember sitting in our first 1 bedroom apartment holding the flashcards while he rattled off what the word was...we were newlyweds...I think as time and two babies came along I was less helpful in the studying department.

I understood the purpose behind learning the Greek and Hebrew.  After all, it's the language that Scripture was first written, if we want to know what the context of a passage is,  or what certain words mean, going back to those original languages is essential...everything else is just someones interpretation of the original word.

I love that God chose those languages.  They're so completely descriptive.   I'm the type of girl who needs a very VERY understandable Bible version.  If the language is any different than what I'm used to speaking/hearing then I often miss what it's saying.   But often, everyday English is unable to be descriptive enough.  Sometimes, it misses the meaning.  

We have been doing the Beth Moore study Living Beyond Yourself.  This is my first Beth Moore study.  I was always a little apprehensive because everyone was so over the top about her that I was pretty sure she couldn't be as great as everyone said.  Wrong.  So wrong.  Her knowledge of Scripture, passion for glorifying God, and sheer humbleness, frankly...astound me.  

She knows His Word.  Often, I allow myself to just get "the gist" of a passage and call it good.   I found out quickly, that Beth is not gonna have any of that.  She digs and she digs and she takes you all over the Bible, weaving it all together.  And sometimes, she wears me out...in a good way.

This morning I was working on day 5 of Peace.  And something hit me so hard it caused me to weep...because I'd never seen it before, even though I've read or heard this passage a hundred times.  

The passage is John 18:1-11 and is the account of Jesus being arrested (fitting for Easter, no?)  I read through it first in my New Century Version and nothing stood out.  THEN, in the workbook as I was answering the questions I read what Beth had inserted.  It is part of the passage in the exact translation from Greek to English (capital letters are exactly as they appear)
 
(Jesus is talking to the soldiers)
John 18:6-8

Whom do you seek?  They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene.  Jesus said to them, I AM!  Then when He said to them I AM, they departed into the rear and fell to the ground.  Then again He asked, Whom do you seek?  And they said, Jesus the Nazarene.  Jesus answered, I told you that I AM.

Can you picture it?  60o armed soldiers came that day, to arrest Jesus.  And at the moment He said His name, who He was, the I AM, 600 soldiers fell back.    

I cry because hearing Him say His name this morning, through this Scripture spoke to me.   He is the I AM...He needs nothing added to it.  

As Easter approaches, I want to hold on so tightly to Him, to remember what He did on that cross, for me, and to look to today and tomorrow because each day He is the I AM.  The same, yesterday, today and forever.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Notes:


There are times when I hear something and it just HITS me.  Sticks with me.  Changes me.

Beth Moore is hitting me hard lately.  I love watching the DVDs that go along with this study.  Her passion for God's Word is inspiring and contagious, and what I love most about her is that everything really is all about Him.  

Here's what I scribbled down Tuesday night during Bible Study as we watched her DVD.  I feel like I can't write fast enough to catch all the good stuff, and if I don't write it down...*poof*  it's gone!

  • Peace and ease are not the same.
  • Many times we don't have a knowledge problem, we have an obedience problem.
  • Part of being spiritually mature is ceasing to equate hard with bad.  Just because something is easy doesn't mean it is good.
I can't get these out of my head.  I have a feeling I know why.  There's a theme going on...

I love that God loves me enough to keep leading and guiding.  Not because He needs me, but because He wants me.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Day

Hard to believe 2008 is going to be over soon.

For the most part, years go by and they all seem to blend together. But 2008 held a lot of joys, and a lot of tough stuff. I have a feeling this past year will stay around in my heart for awhile.

The good...the bad...in bullet form (with pieces of it missing because I'm too lazy to spend more than 15 minutes on a post ;)

  • February I started blogging...on a total whim. I had no idea the amazing friends that it held in store. It is so much fun to peek into each of your lives.
  • Winter here felt like it would never end. In March my Ladies Bible study began the Seeking Him study. God used it to make my walk with Him so much deeper, closer. It was harder than I had imagined...in ways I can't explain, and many times I wanted to just give up and run back to where I felt comfortable...even if it did make me miserable inside. That's when I realized that that temptation, to give up and not trust where He's leading me...it will always be there...always. I can't run from it, or hide from it. I've got to acknowledge it, and then cling to Him for the help I need to keep pressing on according to His will...not mine. I also realized that pride: it's an issue for me...just a little bit ;)
  • Spring finally came. It was blissful. I even ran my first race (since highschool)...then the EF5 tornado came to tiny-town. Exactly 2 weeks later we were evacuated as our entire little town filled with flood water. Summer turned out to not be quite what I dreamed of all winter long...but amidst the tragedy and the tears, there was joy and fun, and I saw once again that life keeps going on, one day at a time.
  • In June Ben and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a little getaway/conference. Only we would think a get-a-way to our church's state conference can also be romantic...explains a lot doesn't it? :)
  • By fall, tiny town was in recovery mode, and while much still needs repair, so much has also been restored. Tiny town is forever different and forever the same, all mixed together. I love this place...even without a gas station.
  • Friendships have grown and deepened this year. Reconnecting with old friends, who I share a history with, and making new friends who can easily see me for who I am today, has been such an encouragement to me...and well, just FUN!
  • My boys have grown so much in this past year...I can hardly write about them without getting choked up. I tend to get lost in the madness of each day...the craziness, and then before I know it, I'm looking back over the past year. They are amazing, and each completely unique. This next year, it's the cry of my heart to enjoy the day...not get lost in weariness that comes along with it.

Looking ahead...

  • January 6th, we will be starting this Bible study. Can I tell you how desperately I need it?!? I'm giddy with anticipation...anxious to continue this journey with Him.
  • Dis-cip-pline. Need me some. Need me A LOT.
  • Organization: I mentioned a book yesterday. It's great...really. I'm gonna post about it on Friday. There will also be pictures of the huge messes I've made in an attempt to get organized...because seriously, its therapeutic looking at someones elses mess, no?!? It is.
  • Blogging: I'd like some new vocabulary, ya know...to replace: hilarious, crack me up, cute, totally, fabulous...you get the idea, I don't need to tell YOU that I use the same words ALL the time. If ya'll have any suggestions, do tell.
  • I can't possibly anticipate all this next year will hold...but I know Him who holds it in His hands...and that makes it ok.

Happy New Years Eve!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes I Annoy Myself

*updated with fixed links...because blogger hates me*

Mondays...what a day.

It seems I spend most Mondays just catching up. Catching up on the cleaning, and the laundry and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff.

So I figure I'll "catch you up" on some stuff too...since it's Monday and all.

Remember this post? Well I mentioned the lunch account stuff...so I added money to their account that day through the online payschool thingy and then forgot about it...until Friday when I unloaded Eli's backpack and found another note that said my children were now $35 in the hole...somehow the money I added never got credited to their lunch account.

I sorta stewed about it all weekend, then went into the school first thing this morning to try to get it figured out. Turns out, no one knows what's going on for sure...and I think I've annoyed both of the school offices in our district with my phone calls.

Now that I've completely bored you with all those details, I may actually get to my point...which is: This circumstance is really, REALLY not that big of a deal. Which causes me to ask myself, "Dude, what is your deal?!?" (I still use the word dude...can't help myself)

Why, WHY is this bothering me so much? And then I gave myself a list:

  • It makes me look like a bad mother who is neglecting her kids...and I'm NOT! I put the money in there!
  • I picture my poor little boys being told they have no money to eat...and being offered a PB&J because their mom has....neglected them.
  • It annoys me.

See a theme here? Me me me me me me me. *sigh* Pathetic. Completely pathetic...and sad...and disgusting :) Get my drift?

God used me today to teach myself a lesson...and it has to do with my ginormous need for the next Bible Study I'll be starting shortly.

In that same post I mentioned the need for Beth Moore DVDs...and if you go back and read through the comments, you'll find one from The Domestic Fringe offering to send me them. And guess what? SHE DID!!!

The Fringe girl and I...we're newer bloggy friends, and without hesitation, she offered those (expensive) DVDs to a fellow sister in Christ...and I did what I do...I cried.

I wanna be like her. Guess what the Beth Moore study is called? Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit.

Guess who might need to start living beyond themselves? Guess who needs a little lot more of the Holy Spirits power in her life?

Yeah...that'd be me. And probably a few others too. Maybe. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oh...I Meant it Alright

Ever have those moments where you think, "Hmmm, Thursday already...what did I do this week?"



Having one of those moments as we speak.



I've been running here and there...and it's been fun, but today...gotta stay home and actually put away the laundry that has been clean for days, but strung all over our bedroom floor because it's disobedient and won't fold and put away itself...dang laundry.



I've also been learning some huge ginormous spiritual lessons from that one little study I mentioned before...Seeking Him. Lately it's been on obedience...which is not my strongest area when the obedience happens to require something that makes this flesh want to run around tiny-town screaming. OK...so I exaggerate slightly. The other is forgiveness...which isn't too hard, right? HA! Yeah right.



The words haven't quite come together for those posts...but I know God will bring them when the time is right...in the meantime, He's making me practice those two things...good times.



And, just for the record, the other day, on my humiliating video posts (that I'm not even gonna link to), I happened to say that I hope you all sounded or looked like dorks so that it would make me feel better....I didn't mean it....ok....yes I did. I did indeed :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Happy Time...

From now on, Tuesday mornings will be known as "Sarah's Happy Time" just thought you should know.

Me and a friend are swapping kids, so to speak. She is taking Jake for me on Tuesday mornings and I will take hers on Friday afternoons...perfection.

That 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday mornings is now sacred. It's time set apart for me to work on Bible Club (kids ministry) and women's Bible study stuff and just spend time with Him...uninterrupted time. Priceless.

I need this time. Over the past week I've come to realize that I have a tendency to jump into too many things, all at the same time. All good stuff...that eventually drains the life out of me because it's more than I'm meant to do.

I'm learning to stop running ahead of God, because when I do, I mess up His instructions. Generally, I listen to part of the instruction, and then barrel full speed ahead without giving Him a chance to finish His sentence.

Guess what? That doesn't work out so well :)

So I'm s-l-o-w-i-n-g down. Giving Him time to speak to me...waiting for the full instructions before I plunge ahead and make an idiot of myself :)

More on this tomorrow...

Oh, one more thing...if you look to the left, on my sidebar, I added a new Blogger gadget...if you read often, you can click the "follow" button and your cute little picture (or something) will appear...and frankly, it will make my day. Because as of right now, it just says a big fat 0, which is hurting my feelings...just a little bit ;)