Monday, May 23, 2011

Yield


My one word this year is obey. Given that it is hard for me to remember that my life is not about serving myself, obedience to God does not come naturally nor does the patience to wait on Him. Almost half-way through 2011, I have not grown as much as I would have liked in the area of obedience. I still speak words that are better left unspoken, argue, want my own way and get frustrated when I meet resistence of any kind. This has me thinking that perhaps in my effort to become more obedient, I must first learn to yield. To recognize the flashing lights of temptation, slow down, proceed with caution and keep my eyes focused on Him. How easy it is to become distracted, even intrigued by the flashing lights and plunge straight over the cliff into the valley of sin and forget who I was designed to serve and what my life is about in this oh so very temporary home.

Continuing to count the blessings that come straight from Him:
  • a lunch date with my joy baby
  • sweet texts from co-workers who share encouragement
  • bright, vivid colors
  • pink sunrises
  • water to drink and play in
  • a long "to do list" accomplished
  • cooking dinner with friends while kids play
  • the boys getting to 100 on their lists and being so excited
  • my sweet friend's 41st birthday celebration at our small group
  • a 300 piece puzzle that took entirely too long but made us laugh
  • the puppy ringing the bell to go outside and potty!!! (big deal)
  • a new book
  • a new favorite song
  • love
  • girlfriends who tell it
  • 2 more weeks of school!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Minute Friday



So here are the rules for 5 minute Friday straight from thegypsymama.com

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.


3. Go buck wild with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.


When Seasons Change...
Be still and know I am God- Psalm 46:10


I have watched a lot of seasons change this week as news has traveled into the lives of people I know and brought on emotions that were not evident moments before. Change is a funny thing and God shows us in His creation to expect it and be ready for it...to count all as joy. That seems the hard part sometimes, to embrace what He brings and count it as joy. As I have sat hearing the stories that pour out in my office, held onto the words of a woman I did not know and watched as tremendously difficult decisions must be made, I have felt the burning in my throat that often comes as change presents itself and we find ourselves in a new season.
 May we praise Him always and surrender our lives to Him to be in charge.
 May we embrace the seasons He has written for our lives and be still.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fullness

John 15:11
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

 In the fullness of my joy I still find myself presented with a million choices.
They are often subtle, sometimes glaring but always constant.
I am free to choose.
I can choose the cross or I can set up camp in the bitter land of the enemy that thrives on competitiveness, anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment and comparison.
The enemy lures me with images, fears and conversations specifically designed to distract me.
He knows my weaknesses so well and he fights for my focus.
But Christ shows me that joy lies in my choice to surrender and trust HIM.
To believe and make the choice to hold my tongue.
To give and receive forgiveness.
To extend LOVE no matter what.
To live thanks and be full in His provision. 
Focusing and relying on Him and continuing my far from perfect walk,


image: taylormarsh.com
  • blue birds everywhere
  •  looking at the calendar and realizing that summer break is almost here
  • loaded baked potatoes
  • tears that cleanse, celebrate and are so welcome
  • long walks
  • encouraging words given and received
  • disappointment that reveals hard to look at truths
  • scripture memory with a six-year old who is just not real sure why his teacher won't overlook a couple of missed words??!!!!?!?!
  • holding hands with my beautiful one who is growing too fast
  • picking them up after school
  • friends
  • being outside all weekend at a very long baseball tournament
  • losing my ipod
  • gettng my ipod back after an honest teenager turned it in after it fell out of my bag in a parking lot
  • smiling, happy boys cheering each other on
  • long talks with LAB
  • LOVE, GRATITUDE, FORGIVENESS and deep JOY

Friday, May 13, 2011

Love and Logic Workshop


Hello to everyone who joined me Wednesday night for some Love and Logic Parenting. I apologize for the late blog post. Blogger has been down for a couple of days??
Your participation and smiles were such a blessing to me and really helped put my nerves to rest. It was such a fun experience and I cannot wait to hear all about your power statements and one-liners. The creators of Love and Logic, Foster Cline and Jim Fay have amazing insight when it comes to children/teens and have had a tremendous impact on me both personally and professionally.


Foster Cline

Jim Fay
 I share Pastor Donald's sentiment, that Love and Logic can really transform the way we relate to our children and free us up to enjoy a more fun, respectful and responsible household. Feel free to post comments, ask questions and share stories. I will respond here in the comment section.

If you would rather, you can also email me at thejoyproject40@yahoo.com.

Remember....Empathy first...This is your Power Statement! Love and Logic requires empathy and it is so easy to skip over this crucial component. This is a much different approach than most of us are used to and goes against our natural response pattern, especially when we are frustrated, tired or angry. Empathy helps to diffuse anger, clarify emotion and promote self-control. It also conveys understanding and strengthens relationships. Leading with empathy takes a lot of practice before it becomes natural.

You can do it!

Example empathy statements from loveandlogic.com:

• Uh-oh

• What a bummer!

• This is so sad.

• Dude....this is hard.

• Wow...this is tough

See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

JOY!

So tonight I am starting a Love and Logic parenting seminar at a wonderful church in town. Talking about Love and Logic is one of my absolute most favorite things to do and was on my list of "dreams" when I started digging out of my fear pit and embarked on the Joy Project.
I am soo excited and humbled by the number of people that have signed up and can't wait to meet them. I will be using a microphone and given that everyone always tells me that I am too loud, I have been giggling all week.
Keeping it real...I am totally nervous and have been practicing all day. Thank goodness the puppy is a good listener and she loves me no matter how tongue-tied and hyper I get.
Pray for me friends and pray for everyone who will be participating. How cool is this!!

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!
1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, May 9, 2011

Responsibility

"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required"
 Luke 12:48

Something about this verse has always spoken to me. I heard it before I was a believer and it hit me straight between the eyes.
Even then, something in me "got it" but not really. 
I am naturally bent towards independence, pride and an overall obsession with managing the perceptions of others, so the idea of giving...
with the motive of MY light shining seemed like a pretty good gig.

But then I collided with Christ...really collided with Him and everything changed.
It has been ugly, messy and beautiful.

I had no idea what He wanted me to do with my life but I did know that He had not called me to a life of me with a big dash of comfort. I have prayed, been still, read, listened, ran my mouth, obeyed, disobeyed and everything else in between in an effort to know His will. The Joy Project 40 has been a long process of learning to radically trust and focus on God and embrace His will. I still have no idea where He is going and what He plans to make of all of this. So far, it has been better than anything I could have planned.
Today as I read this verse again, I feel his presence.
My life is not my own.
It is His.
Lord, show me the way.
Counting the blessings of all I have been entrusted with,
  • the little people I work with
  • the little people I live with
  • a gym filled with kids pumped from Field Day and singing worship songs so loud and proud
  • my women's group counting the blessings and reading One Thousand Gifts together
  • making silly faces at my niece and nephew riding home from church (no, I was not driving)
  • time spent with a friend
  • homemade Mother's Day cards that make a heart melt

  • kids in bed early...home date with LAB
  • puppy tricks and loving her soooo much i can't believe it
  • so many baseball games it's hard to keep up
  • humility, humility, humility
  • Mother's Day Brunch with the whole crew
  • friends joining us for the first time at church
  • the amazing mom's i follow on caringbridge.org who share their mind-blowing faith, trust and transparency
  • Jenn at Munchkinland Designs for an amazing blog design...THANK YOU!!



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!


I saw this image this morning and had to laugh. The boys took me to see Thor last night for Mother's Day and somehow this just struck me funny. I stand amazed by all the things that can require my attention, awareness and emotions in a single day. It would be too cool to have a "magic" hammer that would give me boundless strength and energy whenever I needed it.

I do. I have HIM.

Thank you God for giving me the best gift ever. Being a mommy has blessed me to infinity and beyond. You knew exactly what you were doing when you showed your love by trusting me with these two beautiful  boys. I had no idea at the time how I would love at this depth. It seemed too hard...too risky, too many "what if's". I had nowhere to run but straight to You. You have changed me through them. Time seems to move so fast these days. Let me remain focused on you, wrapping them in prayers and always counting each moment as a gift.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MY FRIENDS!!








Monday, May 2, 2011

Recognizable

I often wonder if He is recognizable in me. I get icky uncomfortable when I am faced with the question of whether or not my life and behavior reflects my Savior's love for me. I wonder if my interactions and relationships with others reflect His love or if I have simply shifted from an "all about me" attitude to an, "I love me and I love Jesus" frame of mind. Might there be an answer in the, "I wonder"?
Ridding myself of me is a tough job and I surely don't have enough strength to do it on my own. I never will.  Is it really possible to say "Yes" to love, to only desire His will and to obey even when it's inconvenient or uncomfortable. I am not talking perfection, I am just talking supernatural change. I am learning, relearning and working to  focus my eyes, ears, mind and heart on all the blessings I have and begging Him for the strength to not allow a single second of my time to be spent in comparisons, destintation thinking or a mountain of "wants".
This counting of blessings is a gift. It reminds me just how much He loves us and makes Him so much more recognizable to me. It also places me in His presence where I can grow stronger in who He is and He can shine, shine, shine.

1Corinthians 10:31
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
  • family vacations with no cell phones
  • boys out of school for a week
  • fajitas and jalapeno poppers with queso
  • a little girl in Sunday School singing a song that she made up that was all about loving Jesus and made me laugh so hard I was crying
  • seeing Cirque de Soleil (wow!)
  • new worship songs
  • new friends
  • bright red orchids
  • puppy wrestling
  • sunscreen
  • laundry...washed, dryed, folded and put away



The Joy Project 40

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Munchkin Land Designs
Elements by various artists.