Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guilty

I am reading the book "When People Are Big and God is Small" by Edward T. Welch. It is about the fear of man (also known as low self-esteem, peer pressure, and codependency). The book has been very convicting, but I am learning so much.

In today's chapter, Welch talks about idols, or anything that is done or put before God (can be money, fame, or as in my case, even common everyday tasks). He refers back to the children of Israel when they made the golden calf and began to worship it (it became their idol). The author writes that in following this other god, they are avoiding the true God instead of trusting Him. The Israelites are doing this because the holiness of God was revealed when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. As a result, the Israelites saw the weight of their sin (when comparing ourselves to the Ten Commandments, don't we all?) and become ashamed. They began worshipping the golden calf because their rebellious hearts didn't want to be confronted with their sin. Sounds an awful lot like me...

To be completely honest and real, there are days when I don't read my bible because I don't want to look in the "mirror." I struggle with one particular sin (unrighteous anger) and I can't even begin to count how many verses deal with anger, right speech, and having the right attitude. It (anger/speech) is an issue that is referenced in both the Old and New Testaments, and not just a few times here and there- it's infused throughout!  By not reading the Word daily, I am avoiding God. To open my bible and be confronted with my sin is difficult (do you like to be shown where you fall short?) on some days, but I know what I have to do because my sin hurts others and has consequences.

But, I can see God intervening in His mercy. Along with reading this book, I have been studying the book of James in Sunday School, and Th had to memorize a particular passage from James 1 that deals with anger for his Wednesday night class. I don't believe in coincidence, so I know this is God confronting me on my sin and offering me His forgiveness if I am willing to confess it. I have, and am forgiven, and am still working on controlling my anger.

This week at church we are having special services. We have been doing a study on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Do you know what is addressed in these verses- patience, love, kindness, etc. All traits that are NOT present when I show my unrighteous anger. It has been so convicting, and I am so glad the Lord is patient with me. Because I was avoiding Him, He is convicting me of my sin everywhere I look: during Sunday School, at home with Th, at church this week, and in the book I am reading. Wow- isn't God's love amazing?!?! As His child, He wants me to be holy like Him, and He is not willing to let me stray from His love and mercy.

Thank God for His word, His truth, and His unwillingness to let me revel in my sin.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Running

I started running again and I LOVE it! I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish my route. I used to run 2 miles every day up until I got pregnant with Ta. I stopped because he was the pregnancy right after my first miscarriage and I didn't want to take any risks (not that running is a risk, but when I'm pregnant, ANYTHING is a risk)! I am back up to 2 miles but I've only been running 3 days a week. I will add more days and probably go up to 3 miles as I build up my endurance.

I am trying really hard to lose 30 pounds, but really it's not so much the weight that I am focusing on as much as it is my dress size. I'd like to drop 2 sizes in the next 6 months, and I think that's pretty reasonable. I am embarking on a new area of ministry in my church, one that requires a "complete" person in terms of spiritual wholeness as the book of James puts it. I get my spiritual exercise through my bible, and I want to make sure I get in my physical exercise, as well. I will be counseling women, and running will afford me the opportunity to reflect on "stuff" without interruption. I also think running will help with the medical issues concerning my thyroid. At the very least, it can't hurt. =)

Along with running, I've been watching my portion sizes, cutting out snacks between meals, and just making smarter choices overall. But, I also enjoy sweets, especially chocolate, so I do allow myself to have a piece in the afternoon if I have a craving. To deny myself would be worse because then the craving gets stronger until I break down and binge. Plus, I am a stress eater so running will be my new outlet instead of chocolate. (Although I will admit, I am addicted to Craisins and will snack on those in the afternoon or evening- they are sooo yummy!)

I've also been getting out more with the kids, especially since the weather's been nice. We've been walking to places like the park or around my neighborhood (which is full of hills and is about a 1 mile loop if you stick to the old part, 2 miles if you include the newer homes). Th, Annie, and I also go running during the day as part of his physical education. Just kidding. About it being part of his physical education. We go because he loves to be wherever I am, and the fresh air is just too appealing sometimes. Those are advantages to homeschooling- the flexibility and time together it affords.

I even find myself thinking about running, anticipating when I can go again. If you know me, I mean really know me, then you know that's crazy! =)

Friday, February 11, 2011

MomTalk

The MomTalk conference went well last Saturday. There were probably about 30 women in attendance, including those who attend my church. I was pleased with the turnout and even more pleased with how smooth the morning went. Those who helped with the event worked very well together, and from the feedback, it seems as if the sessions were informative and well-liked. Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning, especially the time of fellowship over brunch at the end. I had to solicit a friend of mine to finally kick everyone out to go get their children from the nurseries! LOL! I will say that since the conference, I have felt a deep sense of joy within me that I haven’t felt in a while. I know true joy comes from serving the Lord, and I am so thankful that I was able to share not only about the Lord and His love, but also provide information about the great community in which I live. I’m sure the other presenters probably feel the same way (and actually, one did tell me she was thankful for the opportunity to have presented her area of ministry). I don’t want to get all theological as I know that I serve the Lord daily as a mom, wife, friend, etc. I simply mean I am joyful in that the sacrifice of time and effort was well worth it.


This conference was the first time I have shared my testimony in a public setting. I was very nervous, particularly because as I tried to prepare in the weeks before, I just couldn’t get my thoughts to come out on paper correctly. But the Lord worked it out because my desire was for the moms who attended to know that, in their motherhood journey, they are not alone. If they choose to have a relationship with Jesus, then everything that they face (good and bad) will be allowed by God and under His sovereign control. Even though sometimes circumstances are not the best, the Lord allows them for our good because He is good. I’m not sure how eloquently I made my point, but that was my goal. =)  The speaker before me also had that same inner desire as she later shared with me that the title of her testimony was “You Are Not Alone.” This conference served as a reminder to me of that fact, too. God cares about the mundane and the not-so-mundane things that a mom goes through (well, that anyone goes through, not just moms). I printed some of my favorite bible verses on the back of the morning’s agenda and encouraged the women to hang then on their refrigerators as a reminder of God’s goodness and presence (mine are hanging there!).


Along with knowing God’s goodness and presence in ALL of life’s circumstances, I also wanted to encourage the moms by putting them in touch with resources within the community. I don’t just mean Human Services agencies, but also moms’ groups, school information, doctor information, etc. I know how lonely and isolated I felt when we first moved here, and not knowing anyone in town, this was all information I had to figure out on my own. Some might not think that kind of stuff is important, but let me just say that we don’t go to the same pediatrician as we did when we first moved here. I just wanted the moms to know that, although they might be brand new to this community or motherhood in general, they don’t need to “know” anyone to get the inside scoop on things happening around them. I provided that information for them. Make sense?


The Lord used the conference to break down barriers and soften hearts based on some of the feedback I have received. I don’t want to divulge any personal information, but I am definitely praying the Lord will continue to work in the hearts of those who attended. I also pray that the recordings of the morning’s sessions will be a blessing to many more.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quote of the Day

My favorite quote of the day: "Been there, wiped that."

Hopefully that brought a smile to your face! =)