Archives for December 2010

Bible Bites : Reading The Bible in a Year

Jen
It has been a while (maybe a decade) since I have read through the Bible.  I enjoy the overview, the big picture.  It’s one of my resolutions this year.  I usually don’t make it past January with my resolutions, but this is a desire of mine.  I did a little research on Bible reading plans.  I think just trucking through from beginning to end can be tough.  This is the plan I am going to try.  I like it because it has you do something different every day, but it has order.  Check it out.  I printed it and am just going to highlight what I read as I go.  I am sure I wont do it in a year, but I would like to make progress on working my way through.  In the words of Tony Horton, “do your best forget the rest.”  I am FAR from a legalistic.  My resolutions are basically stating desires and goals I want to work towards.  Not steep demands of perfection.  BLAH!  Just highlight as I go… that’s my goal.  Want to join me? Here is the link to the worksheet I am going to use!  Print it!
http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html

Our Life : Working Out :: P90X

Jen
This is an AMAZING WORKOUT!  You can do it from home!  You get in GREAT shape.  I love it because it saves me the time of running out to the gym and I don’t have to get a sitter.  The other cool thing is my husband and I can do it together.  It’s a 90 day workout and after the 90 days you can move on, take a break or try it again.  This is my 3rd time trying this workout.  I have gotten to week 3 twice and I have been so dizzy that I had to quit.  I have had to work hard to figure out how to do it with my body because I really like it.  I don’t think the dizziness happens with most people.  I have changed some things this time and I am on week five and not dizzy.  I had to adjust the way I was sleeping and eating to do it and feel good.  I basically am doing my workouts mid day, so I am eating before and after I work out and sleeping a normal schedule, not waking up early or staying up late to get my workout in.  I need my sleep!  I am also eating more than I usually do.  This is a REALLY TOUGH workout.  If you are looking for a get in shape challenge this New Year put this workout in the hat.  Tony, the trainer, gives you great tips to modify if necessary.  You need about an hour and a half a day, a pull up bar ($20 at a sporting goods store, just sets in a door frame, easy to put up and down) maybe one band and some free weights, and yoga mat.  I LOVE it!  It’s hard, but I love it.  For me it’s about being healthy.  Here is a link check it out.  I am on week 5 of 12…and still going!  The motto of this workout is “do your best forget the rest!”.  It helps my not get stuck in my head.  Keep on working out doing my best.

http://www.beachbody.com/product/p90x-what-you-get.do

Stirrings : The 12 Things I Have Learned This Year (The Last Four…)

Amy
OK, so I hope I learned more than 12 things this year, but I guess the ones I’ve shared so far and will share next are the lessons that have impacted me the most.  Apologies ahead of time for the length of this post….feel free to take a chocolate break in the middle. 🙂

Lesson #9  God answers prayers.  In fact, I believe he answers prayers in ways that we could never imagine, because He sees the big picture.  He is omniscient, all knowing, and because of that He knows how best to take care of us.  I have seen this in my life this year in an incredibly humbling and inspiring way.  
I had three BIG prayers that I asked God for starting mid-summer. 

One was to provide a new “roommate” for our basement by January since our current sweet college girl was moving out earlier than expected, and it was a bit of a financial stress.  For a few months there were no leads to all of our advertising and the clock was ticking and I was starting to say….God are you listening? I mean, you know A LOT of people!

The next prayer was regarding Jon’s union job for Frontier which I have mentioned in this blog.  He was needing to decide whether to run again in an election which would be stressful, and work under some very difficult work conditions….but, it was a paycheck that we needed.  So to not run for the position meant trusting God to somehow provide for a significant part of our income.  My prayer was for peace on what to do; that both Jonathan and I would be on the same page and that I could support him whatever decision he made (I tend to be the one who stresses about our finances!!).   God…what hard choices will we have to make without this income?

The final prayer was that God would provide a job for me to help supplement the lost income if Jon no longer had a union job.  This was a big one, because I love being a stay-at-home mom and had not pictured working outside of the home in this phase of my life.  My heart was torn, but I knew I needed to step up during this time.  I applied for teaching jobs, reached out to contacts I had in the education world and went put myself in all sorts of uncomfortable positions to pursue what I thought was my only option.  I LOVE teaching, but knew I would struggle with  balance as a mom, wife, and educator because teaching is such a difficult job (thank you teachers!!!).   My prayer….God, what should I do?  Will I be even able to find a job?  What toll will it take on our family?

These were the prayers and questions I was asking God toward the end of September with three months left to go.   I tried to trust, but wondered how God could answer all three when none had been answered yet!

And then, it happened.  I got a phone call from another sweet college grad. who had received our basement flyer from her uncle who lived in a city two hours away who “somehow” received the flyer in his inbox from a ministry connection that I had sent our flyer to months before.  Jill and I met for coffee the next day and shared our lives and a few tears and knew it was a “God thing” that we had connected.  She moved in last week.

Then, within the following week, Jonathan had to declare whether he was running for the union position. He made the call to forfeit his nomination.  We both felt complete peace.  Prayer number 2 answered.

A few days later, I received a phone call from a good friend who asked me to tutor her son for a couple of hours each morning before school.  The pay was wonderful and I loved the idea of teaching and helping this great kid who happened to be in my son’s 4th grade class.  I made up about half of what we had lost with Jon’s job.  Jon and I decided we could tighten the belt more than ever and hopefully make it if this was the job God had planned for me.  We felt so grateful and I felt so understood by my heavenly Father….

Lesson #10:  God GETS me!

I remember thinking, “He gets me, and the way he worked out each situation is not what we expected, but the best possible one for us.” We got a great roommate to live with our family, someone who needs us just as much as we need her (I expected less).  Jon and I had total peace about his job, not an uncertain stab at the right decision (what I expected would happen), and I was given a job that I love, and not even one I had pursued with my own strength ( I expected either nothing or something I would grin and bear for the provision–which God knew I was willing to do!).  Lesson number #10.5: Our expectations are always exceeded by what God delivers.

It is not by chance that just a week ago I randomly stumbled into being offered another part-time job that fits perfectly with my tutoring schedule, is something I really enjoy and provides almost to the penny the income we were trying to recoup. 

Lesson #11…God will show up BIG in our time of need.
In my story, I wish we were not in this position financially in the first place.  I wish Jon had not taken a large pay cut 2 years ago, let alone another one now.  I wish he had worked under someone in the union that he respected and that respected him.   I wish I did not have to work. There was much we “wanted” that did not work out for us.  God did not “fix” all of our wants, but He did provide joy and peace and answers in our time of need.

So here’s Lesson #12  Give Credit Where Credit is Due.
          Thanks God….you get it all!

Happy New Year and I’m strappin’ in for the ride in 2011!

Bible Bites : Love & War : Dreams for 2011

Amy and I are reading a thought provoking book with our husbands called Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge.  I love when Scott and I read books together because it gives us a platform for conversation where we are learning the same thing but have different takes on it.  It causes us to talk and grow together.  It seems they wrote the book the same time of year we are reading it.  They have been talking about some of the things they do around New Years and I found them intriguing and inspiring.  One thing the talk about is how our hearts crave adventure.   They have a pattern of writing down their dreams for the New Year.  A few things they would love to do or accomplish.  They do this individually and then just talk about them.  Walk and talk.  Some realistic some very different.  It’s great to dream.  I was reading in bed as I was tucking my daughter in and I decided to ask her what were her dreams for the New Year.  I am liking dreams more than goals or resolutions because there are no conditions on dreams.  She said things I would have never guessed.  I felt so honored that she opened her heart and shared her dreams with me. 
Here are a few take aways while preparing for the New Year.

1.  Take some quiet time before God and write down a few of your dreams for the next year.  Maybe see if your kids and husband or a good friend would like to do it too.
2.  If you are married or have a family take the perspective that you are in this together.  We are a team! 
3.  Cultivate the adventure in your life.  Do a little dreaming.  Where would you love to travel?  Would you like to take a class, learn a language, start a new hobby?  Would you like to move?  Where, Why?  What are you looking forward to together?
4.  Seek the mission God has for you.  Pray about it.  Ask God what he has for you.  Ask him to show you the next step.
5.  Ask God “What are we involved in that we shouldn’t be?”.
Have fun!  Ask your friends or husband or wife or kids.  You may be amazed at what you learn about the ones you love.  And you may have wonderful adventure on your horizon.  Dare to DREAM!
All these ideas are from Love & War; by John and Stasi Eldredge.  Chapter 7 A Shared Adventure Pages 118-121

Scripture For The Day

Here’s an encouraging scripture for today…

The revelation of God is whole, and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear, and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain, and easy on the eyes.

Psalm 19: 7-8  The Message

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