Happy New Year 3 Words

It is 2013! I know it has been 2013 for nine whole days but it is still officially The New Year.  I did not make a laundry list of resolutions this year.  Perhaps it is my continued fatigue from the holidays, or the realization that most of those resolutions go unfulfilled? Who knows.  I just haven’t felt very “inspired”. 

 I did see a couple of bloggers choose 3 words for the New Year so I decided to follow suit! (Thanks Rubber Chicken Madness!)

                       Breathe

Stop my chronic over-scheduling.  Leave margin in between activities to breathe and allow things to happen naturally without me rushing them along.  Inhale then Exhale before I react!

Accept

 Truly experience life as it happens.  Be sad when I feel sad, mad when I feel mad and happy when I am happy.  Often, I try to cover up what is real with being busy. Feelings are fickle.  They are indicators NOT dictators.   Acceptance for me needs to mirror “soul integrity”—honesty that is Godly.  (Thanks Lysa Terkeurst!) 

Appreciate

Quiet my inner-impulsive voice that constantly wants more and is often discontented by taking a daily inventory of my many blessings AND thanking God for them. 

  

 Yesterday, I took my oldest daughter to a middle school open house and I thought I just might lose it.  I am not ready for her to go to middle school.  I felt nauseated just listening to our tour guide. I know what goes on in Middle School!  Uggh. 

During my nausea, I had a grand opportunity to practice my three words. 

Breathe–Inhale. Exhale.  

Accept–Lord willing, she will be entering middle school in just a few months.  I cannot keep her a baby forever. (Sigh)

Appreciate-She is a beautiful girl with a lot of spunk! God has great plans for her. 

Oh and…..Yes, middle school is coming but so is this involved-will go to the school-take your bedroom door off of the hinges-disconnect your phone indefinitely-Mama!

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell @ Things I can’t say.

 

 

Wreck it Ralph…Really?-Pour Your Heart Out

 

My girls were out of school last Monday and since we get all the newest movies at our local movie theater for $3.00, we took the girls to see Wreck It Ralph. Yes, I know. My husband and I both rolled our eyes as we walked through the theater doors. We didn’t expect much and were pleasantly surprised!

Perhaps hubby and I were entertained because we are 80’s arcade kids. The set of the movie is a hidden world of video game characters and what they do at night, after the children have all left the arcade. It kind of reminded me of Toy Story.

“Ralph” is the heel in a video game called Fix-It Felix Jr. His job in the game is to destroy buildings and try to keep Felix from repairing the damage. Felix fixes everything, so the game always ends with Felix getting a metal. As the resident “bad guy”, Ralph NEVER gets a medal. He does his best as a “bad guy” but no one EVER notices.  He even attends “BAD-ANON”–hilarious!

Ralph decides to take charge of his life and get some glory for himself.  So, he leaves his game to get a medal.  After some really funny twists and turns, Ralph finds himself in the kart racing game Sugar Rush. Sugar Rush is where he meets a fellow outcast – a glitched character named Vanellope Von Schweetz who is not allowed to race.

Ralph and Vanellope develop a true friendship. The banter between Ralph and Vanellope kept me laughing.  It is through their friendship that Ralph learns what being a real hero is all about and it has nothing to do with medals. Finally he says and means “There’s no one else I’d rather be than me”.

Proverbs 19:21  Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

There is no showmanship in heroism. There is just the next thing. Sometimes that thing might feel small – like helping your kid with his math homework. And sometimes it might feel big…” Lisa Jo Baker

Did you know that you are hero material?  Medals are not required.

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I can’t say
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Cleaning Challenge Day 11 and Pour Your Heart Out

 Hello Divas and welcome to day 11 of our 31 days to clean challenge and our weekly post for Pour Your Heart Out hosted by Shell over at Things I Can’t Say!  Want more information on our cleaning challenge and the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae?  Go Here

The Day 11 lesson is all about limitations.  I must be the queen of limitations when it comes to cleaning!  Life happens and then plans go out the window! 

When my life “happens” a mess around the house is usually part of the deal. Sometimes, I just can’t get to what I had planned to do.  I want to but often, I just can’t.

Do you ever have things to do that you just cannot get to?  Are you ever just too tired to push through to completion?

Sarah Mae made a suggestion in lesson 11 that makes a lot of sense.  She urged us to do ONE SMALL THING to bring life to our homes even when we don’t don’t feel full of life. 

I am an all or nothing girl.  If you don’t complete it, it doesn’t count…Right? 

Who says? 

How freeing to do one small thing when we have met our limit and be ok with not getting it all done! 

 2 Corinthians 12:9 …”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

 After each day’s reading, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

For today’s lesson, The Mary Challenge is:  Let grace cover the areas you cannot change.  Do not beat yourself up or thing you aren’t doing enough.  God knows where you are and His grace is sufficient.

The Martha Challenge: Living Room-wash your walls and dust the ceilings.  HA! My walls have flat paint on them so washing them was out of the question.  Most importantly… I have been uber tired and I cannot even reach my ceilings! So….truly in the spirit of doing ONE SMALL THING…I lit a candle and straightend up the living room.

An older lady that I used to work with named “Mrs. Cle”, often hummed the song Ordinary People while she worked.  Even though we worked together many years ago and she has gone on to be with the Lord, her faith and the way she lived still impacts me today. 

Here is the Chorus of the song:

Just ordinary people,
God uses ordinary people.
He chooses people just like me and you,
who are willing to do as He commands.
God uses people that will give Him all,
no matter how small your all may seem to you;
because little becomes much
as you place it in the Master’s hand.  (By Dannibelle Hall)

As you go about your day and responsibilities begin to mound, remember: Little becomes MUCH when you place it in the Master’s Hands.

31 Days to Clean-Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the 31 day to clean challenge!!! To catch you up:

I downloaded the book 31 Days to Clean a couple of months ago with very good intentions to read it and follow the challenge.  Yea, those intentions took me NO WHERE! So, I am singing the Barney clean up song and really buckling down!

31 Days to Clean is about the “why”, the vision and the heart for taking care of our homes. Each day, the author, Sara Mae, encourages you with some thoughts and ideas, and then she encourages you  put those ideas to action.

After each day’s reading, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

 

Come on and take the challege with me!

The lesson for Day 2 is entitled, Created to Give Life.  During this quick one pager, Sara Mae lists several ways that women give life!   Women give life physically but also spiritually.  Here are just a few ways that stuck out to me:

Women give life through:

Our words (Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) The tongue has the power of life and death.)

Our home (Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.)

Socially (Proverbs 22:9 Happy are generous people, because they give some of their food to the poor.)

The Mary challenge for day two is to do something to bring life to your home, children, husband and/or sphere of influence.

My girls love for me to snuggle on the couch with them and watch one of their television programs.  So, last night after dinner, instead of swirling around doing my nightly “busy” stuff, I got out the blanket and we all snuggled on the couch just before bedtime!  They squealed with delight, a perfect sign of liveliness!

The Martha challenge for day two is to clean out and scrub down the fridge and freezer.  Hmmmm, my schedule just did NOT allow for a hour long freezer fridge clean out.  That will probably have to wait until the weekend.  But, I did straighten the living room and vacuum the steps!

In the past, I would have seen my inability to get today’s task done as a failure.  I am one of those people who think  it only counts if you get everything done.  Well, my dear divas, I am learning about a thing called Imperfect Progress.

I am reading the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst and one amazing term that she uses is, Imperfect Progress “slow steps of changes wrapped in grace.  I kinda think keeping a clean house is all about Imperfect Progress.

Perfect people put everything away ALL the time and have energy to cook gourmet meals and interact with their children without ever yelling!

Real people get busy, have great intentions and then forget, clean up only to have little people come in and mess up, put clothes in the washer and remember two days later to put them in the dyer when they keep smelling mildew, and have schedules that don’t allow for everything but if they are careful they can make time for the best things.

How can you give life to your home, family, or work environment today?

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I can’t Say

Come and See

A couple of days ago when I was in the hustle and bustle of my morning, I noticed one of my tires looked low. Upon further investigation, it was actually about to be flat. We just purchased a new set of tires about 2 months ago and then a month before that we had a $1000 repair. Uggh. Just last week, there was a crazy knocking noise and the rpms went whacky to the tune of $300.00. Double Ughhh.

One look at that low tire and I almost went jelly-back ( if not literally at least internally). If you have no idea what jelly-back is, just picture a child on the playground whose parent announces that it is time to leave and then proceeds to take the child’s arm to lead them away. Perhaps not every child, but at least ONE of mine, would simply go limp–jelly back if you will–onto the ground. Then I would have to try to pick up their dead weight.

Here were my thoughts: “My car is ten years old. I have 185,000 miles on it. I know with it being old, repairs are to be expected but can a sista get a break? Every time I take my car to the shop, it costs me a lot of money. Can any good come from this”

Just before I jellied all the way down, I felt God say “Trust Me”.

In John chapter 1 verse 46, a dialogue takes place between Phillip and Nathanael. Before their conversation, Phillip was called by Jesus to be a disciple and he was so excited that he ran to tell his friend Nathanael about “the One who Moses wrote about Jesus of Nazareth” (v45).

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

Jewish people discounted Nazareth. It was a small agricultural town with nothing going for it. Nathanael allowed his prejudices about Nazareth to question whether Jesus was the Messiah.

A prejudice is a prejudgment: i.e. an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy.

I allowed my prejudices (i.e. my jelly back “this is the end of the world attitude”) to question whether God is who he says He is. For a split second, as I arched my back in true temper tantrum style, I prejudged that my tire was going to cost a lot of money and that it was going to be a huge hassle.

Then, I heard God say, Trust ME!

Come and see, trust ME.

I wish I could tell you that I am so spiritual that I boldly trusted God. No dear sisters, I was so exhausted from life’s every day hiccups I said “OK Lord, I trust you, out of shear desperation”. I was just too tired to even process another car repair bill or anything else.

So, I went to a local mom and pop shop (Engleberts in Kernersville, NC), and I explained that my tire was low. A very nice older gentleman said “Ok, we’ll take a look at it”. Ten minutes later, he poked his head into the waiting room and told me my car was ready. He also reported that I had a screw in my tire but that they were able to plug it.

Whew! “How much do I owe you” I asked.

He responded: “No charge”.

Come and see, trust ME.

Maybe you are not a jelly backer. Perhaps you make sarcastic comments or immediately think the worst when the little things of life buzz around you like pesty flies. How can you remember to “come and see”?

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I Can’t Say and a weekly blog link up at Women Living Well.


Beautiful Feet

I had the grand pleasure of having a LONG OVERDUE pedicure and manicure on Monday afternoon. My girls were over with friends and Mama had a few hours to herself! (Whoo hoo). I cut my phone off, opened my book and eased my feet in to the warm water. Ahhhhhhhhh I had been missing this.

A very handsome young Asain man appeared and introduced himself as Michael. (Something tells me that is NOT his real name LOL.) As soon as I take my feet out of the water he asks me “You want cut down?”. I look at my feet and then take a long embarrassed breath and answer, “Yes”.

Not long after clipping my eagle talon- like toe nails, Michael begins to cut the cuticles around my toes. I glance at him and I hear him exhale kind of hard. I reluctantly looked at the cuticle clipper and it was covered with skin. Uggggh.  Then I realized  it had been a couple of days since I shaved. Double Uggggh.

If I were not so brown, I would have probably been red in the face.

Since he couldn’t tell that I was getting a little horrified at the state of my feet, he looked up at me and said ” Been long since last pedicure?”.

Oh no he didn’t!!!  Gulp…”No, only a month (long pause) or two”.

To my “only a month or two answer”, Michael just stopped and looked at me. He didn’t say anything else but his non-verbals said: “Lady your feet are jacked up!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. In fact, we both laughed. He ended up giving me the best manicure and pedicure. The foot massage was very relaxing.  I prayed that my stubble would not cut his hands up too terribly.

L.A.-based celebrity manicurist Marsha Bialo says there are two great reasons to get a pedicure: “The first is to give your feet a well-deserved, pampering deep cleaning. The second reason is to get your toes looking sexy for your summer sandals.” So it is safe to say, that we get “pedis” to have PRETTY FEET!

I have been thrilled to learn all kinds of girly beauty secrets from God. His word tells us how to have not just “pretty feet” but BEAUTIFUL feet!

Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” (NKJV)

To God, our feet are beautiful when they are used to carry the gospel. Eagle-talon-long nails, bunions, callouses, corns and hammertoes all make beautiful feet when we accept the charge to spread the good news about Christ!

This does not mean that we have to prepare a sermon, it simply means that we should tell others what Christ has done in our lives—share our testimony!

Do you have beautiful feet? How often do you get pedicures?

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell at Things I Can’t Say and a weekly blog link up party at Women Living Well. This post is also part of my God given dream of writing a “Beauty Secrets” Women’s devotional book. Keep me in your prayers!