Sunday, December 23, 2012

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19

Week of 12/16-12/22

1.  Drove a FIC to church and enjoyed fellowship during the car ride...they encourage me so much for God's glory...they also celebrated their 1yr wedding anniversary on 12/15 and we are believing God to be glorified in their lives and marriage

2.  My nephew celebrated his 8th Birthday (today when he went to say good-bye to me, he actually puckered up and I wasn't expecting it since he had stopped PDAs a while back, but I jumped on it and he gave me a kiss good-bye)

3.  We enjoyed dinner at Mami's

4.  Began our family read aloud 

5.  Spoke to my Daddy...God, You are just so wonderful to bless me in this special way

6.  Tuesday was no class for me...instead it was prayer and praise!



7  On Wednesday, we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary...we went bowling (Team Glam Bam fell to the Mighty Tighties) then came home baked and enjoyed a feast

8.  God brought a good word on waiting on HIM--impatience is fleshly!

9.  Went shopping with Sydney and picked up some Body Shop goodies and leg warmers

10.  Went to the gym late night on Thursday and Friday but we finished another full week:)

11.  Visited Sydney at her J-O-B with Randy

12.  Randy's uncle sent us some homemade food:)

13  Randy got out of work early on Friday and we are excited to have him home with us for two days:)

14.  Put my baby niece to sleep...again:)

15.  Mami sent us some food too:)

16.  Randy took girls to a basketball game and they came home with Judah:)

10Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bible in 90 Days Review


At the end of this year, 2012, I will have read the Bible in 90 days for the the third time.  So, after having done this a few times, I have formed some opinions regarding it:)

Pros:
1.  Discipline
You are IN the Word.  You have to be disciplined since you are reading about 12 pages a day.   

2.  Cohesive
Genesis to Revelation becomes more cohesive when you are reading it at this rate.  You are more likely to see the correlations among the books.

3.  Familiar
I did not notice this benefit immediately, but I actually was able to recollect certain Bible passages that I was not able to do so before.  

Cons:
1.  Getting Backed Up
It can be discouraging if you fall behind one or two days tempting you to give up.

2.  Reading not Studying
Because the focus is finishing, studying the Word does take a back seat (at least for me it does).  

3.  Skimming not Retaining
Once again because there is "pressure" to finish and not get backed up, you can find yourself skimming and not really retaining what you are reading.  

Overall, I would recommend you try this method of Bible reading at least once.  Definitely do not do it alone.  All three times I have done it alongside my daughter, Alicia.  It helps to keep you motivated and accountable.  Also, choose a time frame that works for you.  I have done it January-March, June-August, and October-December.  Consider holidays, vacations, and other calendar events when choosing a time frame.  

Why should you give it a try?  You will never again have the excuse that there is not enough time to read the Word of God daily:)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
Week of 12/2/12-12/8/12

1.  Enjoyed shopping with the girls soooooo much...we picked up some goodies to get started on our 30 in 30

2.  Able to give a little surprise to a BIC...had fun just wrapping it up

3.  Traded in some books to Amazon...d-e-c-l-u-t--t-e-r-r

4.  So grateful that my husband bought me these cookies:)  He's the best husband EVER!

5.  Enjoyed getting some packages this week too...Body Shop...oh yeah:)

6.  Loved waking up and seeing the sunlight hit Sara's face while she played

7.  Finally got the girls their passports:)

8.  Visited my in-laws

9.  My oldest sister celebrated her B-Day and she came to church with us

10.  Enjoyed drinking hot chocolate (white chocolate latte for me please:) as we wrote our top ten of 2012(to be revealed on 12/31/12) and our letters to friends

11.  We also had a Trouble tournament (that got pretty loud), had ice cream party, threw out 3 items each, and started our vacation jar...all part of our 30 in 30


Week of 12/9/12-12/15/12
1. A dear FIC came to church and we are so blessed to see ALL that the Lord is doing their lives

2.  Sunday's service was S-U-C-H a H-U-G-E blessing...to God be the glory forever!

3.  Listening to Randy pray with Sara from the other room...priceless

4.  Laughing so hard with Randy at night that the girls had to come and "correct" us:)

5.  Girls night in with pedicures (note to self-must become monthly thing:)

6.  A SIC sent us some goodies...the Lord knows our exact taste...may He bless her richly

7.  Prayed with Mami regarding my cousin and believing God for his salvation

8.  Able to declutter even more...you see, it's a continual thing

9.  Finished our workout week in victory...wooo hooo!

10.  This week was a "hard" one in regards to receiving news about families we know BUT Jesus is still in control!

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review--The Captain's Bride

Lisa Tawn Begren's The Captain's Bride is a gripping tale of love and betrayal on the high seas as well as on the new land of America.

Instantly, one is drawn into the story line as one after another, the characters' secrets start unfolding.   Even the most "perfect" of characters soon discover life is not so perfect thus shattering dreams but creating new ones.  

That is exactly what this novel is about--new beginnings.  Each character desires a new beginning for various reasons.  Whether to start their married life or save their marriage, the characters find themselves leaving their homeland in search of the their new beginning in America.  However, things start to unravel as life on the seas, despite it picturesque vistas, starts to experience physical and emotional storms.  Will they be able to weather the storms even when unexpected cargo--Tora Anders threatens to destroy one life after an other in pursuit of her selfish goals?

Their life at sea and the arrival in America is not so much a travel journey but one of growth.  The protagonists learn that marriage is not the same as the captaining of a ship or the painting thereof.  While other characters learn that their actions have consequences often times hurting the innocent.  Restoration and forgiveness is a lesson they will have to learn over and over once their sea journey ends and their land one begins.  

Overall, this book captivated one's attention and heart.  One could not help becoming distraught as the characters lived through tragedies and becoming angry as the nemesis continued to wreak havoc on those around her.  This is an excellent read for a mature audience, since some themes and innuendos are explicit. 

For more information click here or to read the first chapter click here.  

I received this book for free in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.   

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Unplowed Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12

What we sow, we reap.  Here the Word commands us to sow for ourselves righteousness, and we will reap the fruit of unfailing love. Sometimes, we can be sowing and reaping in areas that we have seen growth and fruit.  For example, if we struggled with submission to our husbands but are now experiencing the fruit of peace and love in our marriages, that's great!  To God be the glory!

Let's not stop there though.  

Look at the next step--break up your unplowed ground.

You see, we can get comfortable and complacent.  We've experienced change and victory.  But there's more.  There is always more in the Lord.  


Let's look at any unplowed ground today.  Better yet, let's ask the Lord to reveal any unplowed ground.
  
23Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24


Why should we do this?  For it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on us.  

Now is the time to do this.  Not tomorrow, today.

7So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
Hebrews 3:7-9

This is the time to be deliberate in our seeking the Lord as well as persistent.

13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

We must seek until we see that He has indeed come and showers righteousness on us.  That unplowed ground is broken and no longer infertile.  It is producing fruit.

8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Matthew 3:8


Father, today I thank You for all that You have done in our lives.  You have showered us with righteousness and we have seen Your unfailing love manifested in our lives.  Today, we come and ask for more, recognizing that there is unplowed ground in our hearts that must be broken.  We ask that You search us and test us and see if there is any offensive way in us.  Lead us in the way everlasting.  Do not allow our hearts to harden.  Help us to seek you wholeheartedly with faith knowing we will find you.  Help us to be persistent in seeking you.  Help us to do so until You come and shower us with righteousness.  We thank You in advance for breaking up the unplowed ground in our hearts and producing in us fruit in keeping with repentance.  In Jesus' Name.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review--The Respect Dare

In The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband, Nina Roesner's premise is that a wife's relationship with God is in direct correlation to her relationship with her husband.  The book focuses on the importance of a wife respecting her husband and the consequences is she does not.

The author starts each dare with a Bible verse, small synopsis of it, and a relatable story.  Although I was not able to identify with a lot of the women in the stories, I did appreciate the real life application of the principles being taught.  The author did overdue it a bit by mentioning her online course quite frequently.  After the story, there is a 'Bottom Line' which summarizes the main points.  Then there is the  'So What About You?' section that focuses on the wife's heart condition.  This section includes a few introspective questions that help to assist the wife identify problem areas and solutions.  Finally, each dare ends with a concluding paragraph.  Although the sections are pretty much the same throughout the book, often times, I had to reread certain sections to find what was the actual dare.  It was not as clear cut as it could have been.  

The topics covered ranged from finances to intimacy which made the reader look at the big picture--respect is not limited to any one specific area but must be a key component in each marriage.  This book did not present itself as a quick fix for marriages or wives but rather a deep look at one's heart in order to submit to God's mandate to respect one's husband.  It was about lasting changes as opposed to surface changes.  

Whereas I think that certain things such as a decrease in the mention of the author's ministry, highlighting the dares, and the exercises to imagine, which I thought were inappropriate, this book is a good starting place for women interested in learning about respecting their husbands.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Prayer Calendar


1.  Dalits (you can read more about them here:)
28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 
1 Corinthians 1:28,29


2.  Unite with parent's praying for the salvation of the children
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:5-7

3. Unemployed
14From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things
as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
Proverbs 12:14


4.  Reconciliation in Relationships
13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
Colossians 3:13



December Goals


1.  Mail letters to Nthati & Abdi
2.  Homeschool Evaluations
3.  30 in 30
4.  Print family prayer planners
5.  Freezer cooking
6.  Complete final month in Bible Reading in 90 days
7.  Finish reading book
8.  Start getting tax papers ready
9.  Finish November pictures in family album
10.  Buy New Year's outfit

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Goals Update


1.  Keep updated in my Bible reading
2.  Finish de-cluttering house
3.  Freezer cooking
4.  Update at least one month of our family album...I have hope:)
5.  Finish reading a book
6.  Keep homeschool paperwork updated
7.  Completing this challenge...it may seem very similar to #2, but it's not in my book:)
8.  Start looking at options for new year's planner
9.  Order Sara's album
10.  Write letters to Nthati and Abdi:)

This was a super duper productive month with a lot of lessons learned.  Yesterday, I could not go to sleep, so instead of idling the time, I decided to get caught up in my Bible reading which I had fallen just a little bit behind on.  I will have to do a review of the pros and cons of reading the Bible in 90 days soon.

De-cluttering the house is an on-going thing around here, because once I see how much less we can really make due with, I want to clean more.  Really, I feel like the house looses weight when bags are removed and thrown out:)  It is surprising to see that I can still find bags to throw out even though this is done regularly.

I did keep up with the MSM challenge but didn't post about it as much as I thought because it didn't fit into my schedule.  This week was dedicated to kitchen clean-up which Alicia did the bulk of work to earn a little extra cash.  While she tackled the kitchen, Sara and I went to the post office and mailed Nthati's  and Abdi's letters.  I don't have any pictures of the kitchen except this one:


Alicia and I also tagged teamed to whip up a batch of pumpkin pancakes for the freezer cooking.  And, not only did I update one month of our family album, but I COMPLETELY caught up (besides November of course:).  We also received Sara's album, and it came out beautiful.

I am currently looking at options for our family album and planners.  I think I am going to stick with this year's options and just tweak things a bit.

December has already begun and we are excited to know that it will be just as productive, God willing, just in a different direction using our 30 in 30:)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19

Week of 11/24-12/1

1.  Partook in the Lord's Supper on Sunday and afterwards enjoyed dinner at Mami's 

2.  Started off the work out week feeling a lot better and less sore:)

3.  The Lord continues to minister my life and teaching me during Tuesday classes with the children

4.  A SIC called me and it was so nice to hear from her after so long

5.  Enjoyed cooking dinner with Ali

6.  Sara's dress up outfits are a sight to my eyes:)

7.  Seeing Ali grab Sara for some hugs and kisses during church service

8.  Enjoyed seeing FIC in church...thank You Father for Your EVERLASTING, STEADFAST LOVE

9.  Thursday's service was soooo different and yet soooo edifying

10. Girls worked on a card for Randy's co-worker who retired and the homeschool area ended up looking like this:


LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2