Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A new year. A new me?

I was going to start back to blogging by looking back over the past year and all of the pain we as a family experienced. But last night, right before bed, someone posted the serenity prayer on Facebook and after reading it decided I needed to look ahead to what's in store instead of looking back at things I can't change anyway.
Now most people are familiar with the serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." But I wonder how many realize that there is more to it than that. Pastor read the rest of it in a sermon a few weeks back and I remember thinking it would be worth embracing on a daily basis.

...Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Wow, if I were to underline the parts of this prayer that hit me, then the whole thing would be underlined! How often have I been upset at not knowing what the future holds when I should just be concentrating on today? And how many times do I ask God to work around my will for things, instead of trusting in His? And as pastor brought up in another sermon, are we living for the dot of our existence or are we living for the line of eternity? Lord help me to remember to always live for the line.

So, while I am not a resolution maker, I still have objectives for 2010:
  1. Take a spiritual journey, studying and reading scripture like never before.
  2. Grow our Mr. & Mrs. ministry to effectively reach married couples before they are in crisis.
  3. Continue to prepare myself for the ministry God has called me to, praying and seeking His ultimate will.
  4. Continue into year 2 of our 5 year financial plan. Even though year 1 didn't go at all like we anticipated.
  5. Make exercise a normal part of my routine.

I'm sure there is more that I haven't thought of yet, but these are the ones that have been on my mind a lot lately.

So, Lord I pray for the strength, wisdom and courage to carry out your plans in 2010. Living everyday for the line and not for the dot. Amen

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Weekend

With the end of September here, we in Michigan know that if it's nice outside you better take advantage of it because there is no guarantee of another nice day, especially if it's a weekend. So, with that in mind we began our first official fall weekend.
Friday night Liz was out with Lexi, so the 3 older A's and I headed down to check out the playground at Angus Elementary. It's been a long time since I've been there and I was impressed by the size of it, as well as the fitness equipment they had for the adults. The kids loved it and just ran around from play area to play area, having a great time yelling and running and not having an adult yell at them for it :)

Andrew loved running around the play areas, and I loved thinking about how well he would sleep that night.....

Amerie just climbed all over everything saying "look at me!"

Holding still for a moment, right before leaving (apparently they were pretty exhausted).

I wish I could [still] do this.....

...and this....

...and of course this.

Saturday was more of a typical Michigan fall day and it threatened rain all day, even though the weather channel said it wouldn't rain until evening. The cloudiness made us feel like not doing anything but instead we decided to make a trip to the Mt. Clemens Farmers Market. I had never been there myself but I had heard about the nice veges at amazing prices :) For dinner I made eggplant parmigiana with the baby eggplant we had purchased using a recipe from WholeFoods.com. Yum-mo!

We bought this giant cauliflower for $2.50! (yes, it fills more than 1/2 the shelf in the fridge)

Saturday night it was back to the playground. After we got home and Liz bathed them all and put them to bed, she was convinced by the way they were all fast asleep within moments of their heads hitting the pillows, that a playground visit should become a nightly ritual. And with the fitness center and track around the play areas, her and I will be able to get in a nice workout, too. I'll keep you posted on how well this works out for us ;)

Sunday after church we made Pumpkin Pancakes. I'm not sure where Liz saw the recipe but we basically just added a small can of pumpkin to a double batch of pancake mix. I also added some cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Boy were those a perfect start to the day!

Then it was off to the cider mill. We decided to try the Franklin Cider Mill for the 1st time. Very charming, very good, and very expensive! We enjoyed our cider and donuts (after waiting in a very long line) and then took a little walk into the village of Franklin and along a walking path which actually ran along 14 Mile Road.

There was a creek with some ducks in it.
Amerie didn't want her picture taken...
Unless she was in charge....
Perfect picture for a perfect day.

So if I can say so myself it was a pretty amazing weekend. God is good!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Morning Devotions

So, I received a Bible a few years ago for Christmas. It was on my list, as I had purchased one for friends the year before. It's the "Knowing Jesus Bible" and has 365 "discoveries" throughout the old and new testament relating the passage to Jesus' life, death and/or resurrection. Very good stuff, and although it's meant to be completed in a year, it will most likely take me significantly longer to complete.

Especially with days like today. I felt like Acts was where I needed to be this morning, and on my way there I ran into Esther, and now feel led to get into that book again as well. It was interesting that the notes mentioned that although God isn't actually mentioned in Esther, his influence is seen throughout the book. I wonder if that's how my life is. Even when I'm not talking about God, is His influence being seen in me? Then I moved onto Acts and discovered the words of Jesus that said "You will be my witnesses" and not "You will witness." So along the same lines, I need to ask myself am I being a Christian or doing Christianity.

Last week during a class a church we were asked that if we died today, what regret would we have? I think for me it's not so much about anticipated regret, as it is wondering if anyone will be suprised to find out I was a Christian. I hope not. I hope that He is seen in me by everyone and not just a select bunch.

Hmm, alot of introspect with my morning coffee today...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ok, I'm starting....today

Todays the day, September 21st. I've always liked that date, so maybe this is a good thing. One month later than I had proposed my start date and 9 months after I said I should start blogging. Well, never mind about any of that, todays the day.

I think today might be a turning point for me. It was [another] rough weekend. Sometimes I'm just so sad, and so unmotivated, and so overwhelmed. All of these are things that I've experienced before, but typically not ongoing and seemingly never ending.

Today I have joy in my soul. How Great Thou Art is the song that came to mind during my Bible study this morning. And it just keeps remining me that what ever I'm facing, God is way bigger. And if I'm living for Him, then anything I can dream to do for Him, He can dream for me so much bigger. Today, I choose to live in victory. I will not let Satan have this round!

Praising God for who He is and for who He is making me!