My Recent Starbucks Chat With My 13-Year Old and other “Modern World” News

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Yesterday as I was taking my daughter to youth group she asked if we could go through the Starbucks drive through on the way.  A little background on this–I am not a coffee drinker so I do not frequent Starbucks often, however the rest of my family is die-hard.

Since Starbucks is a total luxury in my mind (don’t throw things at me) I have made the rule that if our children want it, they pay for it.   So I don’t mind being the chauffeur on these trips, and the one who repeats “Venti Skinny Iced Soy Vanilla Latte Light Ice” into the little black speaker while looking at my daughter with a huge eye roll–what is that anyway??  Then, when the ever sweet drive through attendant shares the total–$5.61″ I look at my daughter again.  “REALLY?”

“Mom, you’ve really got to come into the modern world,” my thirteen-year old responds.

“Hmmm…” is all I can say.

Speaking of the modern world, I am almost ready to move this blog there.  I am kind of bursting at the seams to get it launched.  On the new blog you will find an updated look, streamlined menu, and I will be posting some “modern world topics” like:

  • Money: Finding margin and peace–and the guts to make it happen.
  • Another way to look at conflict and difficulties in our lives: Fighting the real enemy.
  • 9 Ways to Grow Spiritually
  • Unstuck: How to determine when you need to make a change in your life.
  • Procrastinators Anonymous– How to get stuff done!  (Especially those things at the bottom of our list)
  • Identity in Christ–How to really understand this concept and how it can alter your relationships, reactions and self esteem.
  • Design ideas for your home–plus much more!

I had hoped to launch this blog by now but I am still working out a few of the details–like the fun “photoshoot” I had this past Friday with a friend who took headshots for the site (I will be telling you all about her and her amazing photography), along with many, many (often stressful) 6:10 AM online chats with my coder in India since that is right before she is going to bed and the only time our time zones match up at all.

It is all worth it though–I am learning patience and peace even when I want things NOW.   Writing and sharing my heart about what God is teaching me in hopes that you will say, “Me too” and feel a little lighter in your day is the constant motivation I carry.

I cannot wait to show you what is in store for you.

xoxo,

Amy

A Few Of My Favorite Life “Helps”

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Try this:  next time you are with a group of friends or family, ask everyone to share their favorite app.  Not app “etizer”– I’m talking about a phone or computer app “lication”.   It’s amazing what helpful ideas are out there!

Here are a few of my favorite things (apps and other great life ideas) for 2016:

  1. Tone It Up and Blogilates:  These are both websites that are great for getting you motivated to exercise.  I like them because I can open up the workouts on my IPad and exercise right there next to my dogs and laundry basket.  No gym necessary!  And you are guaranteed to sweat–these girls are hard core!  Tone It Up Link   Blogilates Link
  2. FaceSwap.  This is just a silly app, but so fun and guaranteed to make you and your peeps laugh. Stand with a friend and hold your phone so that it can “read” your faces.  The app will “swap” your faces (but keep your own hair and eyebrows). You can just imagine what my dad and I looked like when we did this.  Not pretty.  But hilarious.  Pull it out when there is a lull at a party, or when you are waiting for your food to come at a restaurant.  We did this with our kids and got quite a laugh with each other.
  3. Marriage Prayer Of The Day.  I have shared this before, but it is just so good.  You can click here and then subscribe to the daily prayers–they keep everything in perspective and that means happier marriage!
  4. Bouqs.  Looking for a great florist? Try the app Bouqs. It’s easy to use, affordable, and the flower arrangements are impressive.(I sent some for a funeral and my friend raved about how beautiful they were).
  5. Vacation Candy.  We are using this travel/management company for a trip we are taking in February. I stumbled upon their website after hours of dead-end accommodation searching.  We are SO happy with where we are staying and the price we found!

Keep your eye out for news about my new blog!  It will be launching in the next week or two so stay tuned to posts here giving more info–sooo excited to share this with you!

xoxo,

Amy

 

How To Find Success in Your 2016 Goals

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Hi Friends!

We are 7 days into the new year and I’m sure you are following all of your 2016 goals and renewed resolutions to the T!  Like the way I committed to a “No Spend January?”  So far I have already had a massage (justified medically helpful), bought some very necessary new pants for our family vacation next month, been to the grocery store practically every day because God-forbid we don’t have protein bars and fruit snacks, and caved to an infomercial on face cream. Yep, I’m totally dedicated.  Actually the face cream moment of weakness was my husband’s fault.  He is just so darn supportive…”You should buy it honey!”

Clearly I am not ready to take on the no spending challenge. It’s actually like my commitment to not spend money has taken away all my self-control in that area.

The problem lies in that I don’t think I REALLY made a commitment to not spend money.  I bought a book, and even as I read the first chapter and the author asked us to make a decision in this area of finances for the next month, I knew my heart was not in it.  I fake committed.  And it hasn’t worked out so well.

On the other hand, I have committed to have quiet times consistently, to organize my week so that I can accomplish my work and creative goals, and to exercise.   These are all going great so far!  Why?  Because I was ready to commit to these.  I truly wanted to make positive changes in these areas.

So here are a couple of thoughts about sticking to your new (or renewed) 2016 goals:

  1. Be selective.  You can’t decide to completely revamp your life in every way this year.  Pick two or three –or even just one thing to focus on.
  2. Know What You Want.  Well we all want to be skinny and have gobs of money in our savings and be kind and patient and never yell at our kids.  But what is the reality?  What is the thing you are READY FOR?  Just like the smoker who really wants to quit smoking but can’t seem to shake the habit because deep down they want more to keep smoking.  They are not ready, and maybe someday they will be.  I thought I didn’t want to spend a DIME (well according to the book you can spend a few dimes) in the month of January but I didn’t really want that.  Not yet.  I do know that I want to continue to grow my relationship with God and that means a commitment to spending time with him each day which is why that area is working for me right now.

Take a look at your goals for this year.  We are just a week in, but what is successful so far?  What isn’t?  That may give you an idea of what you really want.  God Bless!

~Amy

The Real God

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Happy New Year! If you have been following this blog for a few years you know that this is my favorite time of year because of the opportunity of new beginnings.  I am a big fan of new beginnings, second, third, or fortieth chances.  But instead of writing about how you can set new goals in 2016, let go of things weighing you down from the past, or start brushing your teeth more, I wanted to share one simple thought.

What if you started this year with a right perception of God?  What if you woke up each morning and walked through your day in whatever unique way you do with the correct filter of how God sees you in every circumstance… wouldn’t that be amazing?

Think about it.  What happens between you and God when you mess up?  Say, loose your temper…again?  Or fall flat on your face with a struggle that you thought you had overcome?  Or drive by the homeless person whose frosty breath makes you thankful for your warm car–yet you keep on driving?  Or gossip or overindulge or judge or lie… just a little?

Shame. Guilt. Remorse. Defeat. Hopelessness.

And as a result you avoid facing your creator because of the label you have picked for Him in that circumstance:

Moody God, Judgmental God, Fickle God, Distant God, Prejudiced God, Unhappy God

Take a lot of those over the course of the year and you have turned your face away from God enough to give you whiplash.

But those are False Gods.  Fake. Made up by messy human hearts. And the whole time the real, true God is patiently waiting for you to put down your label maker and turn toward him.

You have a God who loves and LIKES you.  He is patient, kind, enduring, warm, close.  He is infinitely forgiving and pursuing of you REGARDLESS of your actions, words and thoughts.

“I have come to call not the self-righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:13

My friend, we are all sinners.  We are all called by God.  Wooed by him, pursued.

“The men and women who are truly filled with the light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect selves.” Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God.

So back to 2016.  Can you walk into this year setting aside your false prejudices against God and yourself?  Can you be filled with the light because you realize the truth of your imperfections and still cling tightly to God’s mighty hand in your life?

Can you confess your sins to God and still look him in his loving eyes?

I think our year might just be amazing if we can figure this out.

To a new year and a real God,

xoxo,

Amy

 

12 Days Of Christmas PRINTABLE

Christmas is just a few days away and I thought I would post something fun to share with your children or guests on Christmas Day. This may be old news to you, but I just was enlightened to the fact that the traditional Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was possibly originally created as a way to teach about God during a time when teaching the Catholic Faith was illegal:

“According to the Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals by Ann Ball, the famous song about the 12 Days of Christmas was written in England as a catechism song for young Catholics in the days when it was illegal to practice or teach the Catholic Faith.  It contains hidden meanings intended to help children remember lessons of faith. ”  ~Dr. D’Ambrosio

This has not been proven, but it is an interesting story nonetheless.  I love anytime we can take something secular at Christmastime and use it to glorify God.

I created this PDF for you to print and share! PDF The Twelve Days Of Christmas

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Try “testing” your friends, children and family with fun game to see who can name the 11 Faithful Disciples, the 9 Fruits of the Spirit, etc.

Please feel free to print this printable and share!

xoxo,

Amy

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