Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I have found this promise to be abundantly true this week. Oh for sure it is true every week; every day! But the Lord has set about this week to make Himself so real to me. He has opened my eyes to see blessings that sometimes, in the busyness of life, go unnoticed.
He is so faithful, so attentive to our every cry. I dare say I believe He is even attentive to our secret cries, the ones so deep within our hearts that no one else knows.
He can be trusted with our every cry, with the very desires and longings of our hearts, our dreams and hopes.
Is there a cry, desire, dream or hope you are holding on to? Unable to release it and trust it to your Father's care?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread
3 TB Gluten Flour
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We choose not to eat pork that frequently so I have substituted turkey ham. I wish I could find organic turkey ham, but have not yet.
You can see that by soaking the peas overnight and using homemade stock you have easily adapted your Split Pea Soup recipe to a more nourishing soup!
Nourishing Split Pea Soup
The night before, soak 3 cups split peas in water to cover.
The next day:
Saute in Olive Oil until tender:
2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper
3 cups organic split peas, green or yellow (that have been soaked overnight)
3-4 chopped, organic carrots
2-3 organic potatoes, cubed
2 cups cubed turkey ham, sadly not organic, nor grassfed:(
7 cups Homemade Chicken Stock
Stir to mix and bring to simmer, cover. Simmer gently until peas are tender. I have had them tender in about an hour to sometimes 2 1/2 hours.
See more delicious NOURISHING SOUPS and STEWS at The Nourishing Gourmet.
This summer we began a journey to even better eating. We always ate pretty well, or so I thought.
There were certain blogs/websites I found also, and Kimi's Nourishing Gourmet is one of my favorites. I have learned a lot and been inspired to try converting my own recipes. She has an amazing and very informative website, as some of you may already know!
In this recipe it is so important, I feel, to use homemade stock as the base. For years I used bullion cubes and when I found a beef base and chicken base at Sam's Club that didn't have salt as the first ingredient, I thought I was doing my family a favor! Boy was I wrong! This article about broth is my favorite "sum it all up in a nutshell" article.
Besides the homemade stock, organic, grassfed beef and well soaked beans are crucial to making this a nourishing soup.
This summer we found a wonderful local farm that sells delicious grassfed meats! There is no way we could afford to feed such a large family on one income if we did not buy our beef by the side. We have been getting a 1/4 side of beef, which usually lasts our family about three months. The price per pound is obviously more than what you would buy in the store, but once you know the difference, health wise, you cannot go back! We do our best to stretch it out and soup is a very frugal way to do it.
I usually soak my beans for two days, changing the water a couple of times. I like to soak and cook up a bunch of beans and then freeze them for a quick meal.
This is an easy to adapt recipe that we absolutely love!
Vegetable Beef and Sausage Soup
Brown the following until no longer pink:
1 lb. Hamburger (organic, grassfed)
3 Italian Sausage links (turkey sausage)
1 large Onion, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
Add and saute for a few minutes:
½ head cabbage, chopped
Add and simmer until almost tender :
5-6 cups Beef Broth (Homemade only!)
5-6 organic carrots, chopped
3-4 stalks organic celery, chopped
Add and cook until tender:
3-4 small zucchini, chopped
1 lb. Spinach
6 cups (ish) various soaked and cooked beans (black, pinto, kidney ect.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with Homemade bread or rolls and grated Parmesan cheese.
This is part of the Nourishing Soups and Stews Carnival.
I am so blessed by my husband and how wonderful he is that I am going to post reasons why I love him so. So, bear with me, okay? You have to realize that the ultimate reason for this blog is for my daughters, they will see how wonderful their daddy is and also learn how to appreciate their husbands. Okay, and I just love praising God for the wonder of my husband!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. (Mark 1:35)
I understand full well that we are all in different seasons and no one way fits all. I have been pregnant thirteen times, on mega doses of progesterone, stuggled with health issues, had sick children, ect. So, I understand where some of you may be in life, and I am just sharing my heart, my own experience and my own opinion. Please, mamas don't need any more heaped on them, that is not what I intend with the following.
I personally have found and believe that a morning quiet time is so precious, special and ideal. I know of others who do not share this opinion, but I really do believe it is best.
Define and determine Early Morning:
- You must go to bed early enough to get sufficient sleep!
- T.V is a 'time with God robber', I believe. (though I do watch it a couple of nights a week with my dear husband ;-)
- Rise as early as you have to, meaning, a good half hour to an hour before the littles rise. If you have to take a nap to compensate for the sleep loss, I have found it so worth the trade off.
- Schedule it in and make it happen by the grace of God!
- Ask your dear husband to help you, wake you, encourage you or whatever he can, just let him know you could use his help. Sometimes just humbling ourselves enough to ask is all it takes.
Define your space:
I love this one. I know it might not be possible for everyone; mine has evolved over the years. I just love my quiet time area. I have:
- a very small table,
- a special chair,
- a lamp
- baskets of goodies (Hebrew/Greek word dictionaries, concordances and the like)
- my journal and bible
- my favorite devotionals, (Streams in the Desert, Springs in the Valley currently)
- oh, and a candle for those really special times.
Friday, January 23, 2009
1. They usually have the lowest prices on new books. I always check them first before ordering or buying in my local bookstore.
2. They almost always have free shipping on their new books!
3. Amazon's used book section is huge~just make sure the price of book plus shipping is still considerably less than a new book with free shipping! I have bought used books for as little as a penny plus $3.49 shipping.
4. Search out grocery items on Amazon! I only buy from them if it is free shipping and the same or less than what I pay locally. It saves me a trip to the store for those particular items and is delivered to my door from my sweet and friendly UPS man!
Things we buy from Amazon currently are:
Eden organic popcorn~cheaper than health food store and free shipping!
Organic Tortilla chips~cheaper than coop price and free shipping!
Organic Agave Nectar~cheaper than coop price and free shipping!
Disposable Diapers, the price has gone up recently, so I check it now and again.
5. We always check Amazon first for music CDs and DVDs.
6. Selling on Amazon!
A side note that has been profitable for us is selling our used items on Amazon. I like it better than ebay in some instances. It is so easy to list and I don't have to think about it until I get an email telling me "sold, ship now!" They deposit earnings into my checking account. The items you are selling have to be something they sell new or used, unlike ebay, where you can sell anything. You do a search for your product, make sure it is exactly the same, click the 'sell yours here' button and follow the prompts! It is so easy. My son has recently sold new headphones he bought cheap on ebay for quite a profit on Amazon.
I hope these ideas bless you today in your quest to find ways to save money.
If you are a Mama who could use some encouragement, check out my Motherhood section.
Or, maybe ideas for Keeping the Home.
You may find tons more great ideas at Biblical Womanhood.
P.S. I don't work for Amazon :)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
If I just . . . home school my children and protect them, then they will never rebel.
If I just . . . Teach my children the things of God, they will grow up to always serve the Lord.
If I just . . . Model a love for the Word of God; have devotions, then they will have their own wonderful personal devotions.
If I just . . . Read these books and apply these principles, we won’t have any struggles.
If I just . . .Reach their heart, train them up, they will always walk with God.
If I just . . . Trust the Lord with family size, then I’ll never lose a baby or have a difficult pregnancy.
grind my own wheat
make my own bread
drink barley juice
am courtship minded
wear denim jumper
wear matching clothes
read only the King James Version
If I just.... If I just... If I just...
Now, let me expose the illusion and deception, maybe you already see it.
The Lord allowed some serious struggles in our lives at this point. Big enough to throw us on our faces. It felt as though the life got punched right out of us!
After awhile I began questioning and crying out to God. Listen to what kind of cries were coming from my heart and see if you can tell what needed to be exposed.
Why bother to live, preach and teach Your Word if they don’t want anything to do with it?
Why am I trusting You with this family planning thing? What is the point if my babies are just going to die?"
This type of questioning exposed my very heart.
But do you see where my hope was?
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do any or all of the things listed above. We had better do each and every one of them if the Lord calls us to, BUT,
My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved.
With God rests my salvation and my glory;
Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah!
I believe all my children will, and do, walk humbly with their God, but it is and will be because of His grace, His mercy and faithfulness, not because I did it all right.
Let me say it again, I’m not suggesting you stop doing all those wonderful things the Lord has called you to. We do these things out of obedience and love for our Lord, not so we get the desired result. Pray and ask God to search your heart. Put your hope in Him alone.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I soon realized this priority list would not do me any good if I didn't have some accountability.
I laminated it and have it hanging on the lamp; can't miss it. (That is unless my nightstand is a mess :-)
I feel it is so important to frequently ask ourselves questions that cause us to actually stop and think, instead of letting life just whizz by.
Was I kind and gentle with the children?
Did I have at thankful heart?
Was I content with all the Lord had for me?
Did I see God in all things?
Did I pray for him?
Did I spend time with my ‘helper’ today?
Did I tie heart strings today?
Did I stop to soak up the precious moments?
Did I focus on my God given role as helpmeet, mother and keeper today?
Have I made the very most of every opportunity today?
My passion is to live purposely, making sure I am focused on my priorities.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I am so blessed by my husband and how wonderful he is that I am going to post reasons why I love him so. So, bear with me, okay?
You have to realize that the ultimate reason for this blog is for my daughters, they will see how wonderful their daddy is and also learn how to appreciate their husbands. Okay, and I just love praising God for the wonder of my husband!
What makes this so special is that I have been struggling lately with feeling like I am not 'good enough' at anything in my life. This note was timely and sweet. And, to make it even sweeter, he 'bought' this card from our six year old who loves making cards like her sister and longs for a market to sell them like her sister. I think she found one in her daddy. And I, a happy recipient!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
"He knows better," I cry out, "He knows!"
Maybe the question is, dear mama, do you know?
Do you know, mama, that I am God and there is no one else;
Do you know that I have plans to prosper him and not harm him,
You have no need to fret. I will pour My spirit upon your offspring.
He certainly knows, and he will know.
Dear mama, dry your tears, calm your heart.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
A completely organized JUNK DRAWER!
My man took upon himself to organize the whole junk drawer all by himself. Of course, it was sort of selfish, because he hates the mess, but still, am I a blessed woman or what?
What could you share that you love about your man today? I would love to hear it, as would he! Why not let him know now?!
I have recently started using a half size 3-ring binder in which I write many of my thoughts. It is still evolving, but has really been a blessing. I have so much all in one spot. What goes into your binder will be as unique as you. This is not one of those beautiful elaborate household management binders (more on that in another post) just my mind in a binder :-)
My binder includes:
Priorities of my life (see this post here)
Section for shopping lists:
To-do section for kids:
Keep it out and open
Make it pretty (I put pretty scrapbook paper in the front, back and sides)
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I am putting my blank form online available for download. For those who are not spreadsheet literate, this may be of some help.
I am not saying that this will work for everyone, because I believe we all have unique situations and families. But I thought if I shared what "worked for me", it might bless others.
A few tips that have made it so easy for me are:
- try to have lunches and breakfasts the same each week, this saves rethinking each week
- it is always okay to change the plan on a whim, but at least you have something set up if need be.
- it helps to have a freezer inventory when making menu
- also, if at all possible, have a list of all your family favorite meals with you when you plan
- keep staples stocked so meal planning is easy
- keep a grocery list with you as you plan to jot down what might be needed this week
- I have made each day of the week be the same "type" of meal so I just have to fill in the variation. ie. Monday-Beef; Tuesday-Leftover Chicken; Wed.-Meatless; Thurs.-Beef; Friday-Chicken or Meatless; Sat.-Burgers (meat, tuna or quinoa); Sun. Roast chicken.
- one last important tip! I have a place for various 'tasks' related to each days meal, saves on thinking;-)
I have included an example of mine already filled in.
For your convenience, all you have to do is click the link below. When new dialog box appears choose save, and save to where ever you want to on your computer. (To open and edit this file you need Microsoft Excel)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Check out my menu for this week. Click the picture to see the details.
Best Soup Ever!
I made the absolutely best soup this past weekend and thought I would share it with you. I make versions of this soup all the time, but this was by far the best! Everyone agreed, which is no easy feat in a house of eleven! There is nothing like yummy, hot homemade soup. Have a great week.
Vegetable Beef and Sausage Soup
Brown until no longer pink.
1 lb. Hamburger
3 Italian Sausage links
1 large Onion, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
Add and saute for a few minutes
½ head cabbage, chopped
Add and simmer until tender
5-6 cups Beef Broth (Homemade only!)
5-6 carrots, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
Add and cook until tender
3-4 small zucchini, chopped
1 lb. Spinach
6 cups (ish) various cooked beans (black, pinto, kidney ect.)
Serve with Homemade bread or rolls and grated Parmesan cheese
Feel free to look around my teensy corner of blogworld. I love to encourage women in their roles of being a godly wife, mother and managers of their homes. Thanks for coming.
Check out more Menu Plans here.
Check out my "Embracing the Mess" article.
"Thus Far Has the Lord Helped Us"
Sunday, January 11, 2009
"You find out what your priorities are by what you spend your time doing"
Yikes! That is frightening to me because I can say that my husband, my children and my home are my priorities, but do my actions show it? A lot of the time I don't think they do.
I realized lately that I try and try to do what 'I' think needs to be done in a day, yet go to bed feeling like somehow I missed it. I get so caught up in the little things that I miss my big three! (wife, mother, keeper of the home)
I have been attempting to simplify and organize many areas of my life. I will share some of the practical things I feel the Lord has led me to in future posts.
Today I would like to share with you my Weekly Check List.
I asked the Lord what my priorites are. The top three areas I feel He gave me are: Spiritual, Relationships and Home Management. The plan is to get with God and seek Him for my 'to-do' list in these areas.
I have these printed up on pretty paper and keep them in my little 'home management' journal. (more on that in future post)
What should be my focus this week?
What sins am I letting slide?
Brian: How can I serve and encourage him this week?
What specifically should I pray for him?
Children: What specific ways can I sow into each child’s heart?
Thursday: Sarah Grace
Matthew and Danniel?
What items from my to-do list should I work on this week?
What should be my focus?
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Happy Birthday! It really isn't just because I get to go on a date with you that today is special! Really, though I love dates with you.
It is special because today is the day, forty-six years ago God finished His work of knitting you together is your mother's womb, and brought you forth. I imagine it was with great joy your parents celebrated the birth of their first son! I'm also sure they had no idea what a gift you truly would be.
When God was forming and fashioning you, I'm so glad all the days He had written about you included me!
Brian, I know we say it so often, but I cannot even fathom the depth of our love, the joy of this marriage and the unity we share. What a precious and priceliss gift you are to me.
You are more than I could have ever hoped for in a husband and father. I wonder so often what I did to deserve you. Then I am reminded, you are a gift from my Father, and like all His gifts they are given, not at all because we deserve them, but because He loves us.
I will rejoice in You, I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His offspring shall be mighty upon the earth.
Lord, may Brian's heart trust in me. May I comfort, encourage and do him only good as long as I live!
Happy Birthday, Honey!
Come up with at least one FRUGAL nourishing snack that everyone enjoys.
(the ones we love take quite costly ingredients)
Use sprouted seeds at least once a week. I need to work this into our menu plan.
Fine tune our Daily Bread recipe to nourishing traditions. I make tons of bread every week for us and have yet to have GREAT success with soaking it. It is okay, but not GREAT!
Get Cod Liver Oil into my children on a regular basis. (As the Lord provides finances. I take it consistently, but to drop into 8 little mouths everyday is hard to make happen)
Switch over to natural cleaning products and my Costco supply dwindles.
Find more resolutions at The Nourishing Gourmet!
We are committed to buying only organic, free range chickens. Which, by the way, is not cheap! Especially for a large family. So we make the absolute most we can out of them.
- check the store to see when the sell by date is and go buy all you can, double bag and freeze. Just don't do it at my store;)
Frugal Chicken Tip #2
- Roast not only that meals worth but also another to save money heating the oven.
We have roast chicken every Sunday for dinner, I make extra to use for leftovers on Tuesday. My meal plan has Tuesday as 'leftover chicken' day. (Anything that calls for cooked chicken)
Sunday after dinner I 'pick' the chicken and put the bones, carrots, onion, celery, water and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to draw minerals from the bones) in my stock pot and put in fridge until morning. Refrigerate remaining chicken.
Frugal Tip # 3
- Make delicious, good for you stock all day Monday. Cool and freeze in small containers.
Now you have incredibly nutritious stock to use all week instead of chemical laden bouillion cubes!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I'm just saying... (grin)
It has taken mama sometime to realize this, so I thought I would share it with you now so maybe, by the grace of God, you will learn it much sooner.
You will hear thousands of times that God's grace is sufficient. You will hear it spoken concerning many different circumstances.
I want to share one very practical and important area this truth covers.
When you are up in the middle of the night, several nights in a row, with a very sick baby, if you believe that His grace is sufficient, it will turn out to be a most precious time.
It is sometimes hard to keep your mind stayed on Him when your body is weak from exhaustion, and possibly sick too. The thoughts and fears for your baby, the dread of having to be a mama to the rest of the children tomorrow, the frustration of just wanting to sleep, possibly even frustration with God, because He could just make it better.
Daughters, quiet your mind, submit your heart and life afresh to Him in that moment.
Say it again and again as you care for your wee one. Believe it with your whole heart.
Do you want to know just what might happen? I'll share my experience.
It turns into a beautiful, worshipful night. I feel His Love, His grace, Him gently caring for me as I care for this baby as unto the Lord.
Learn this truth, daughter and you will save yourself many a selfish, frustrating night.
It is a privilege and honor to care for these little ones. Especially with the realization it is for our great King and Lord that we do so.
I was sick and you visited Me . . .Truly I tell you in so far as you did it for one of the least of these My brethren, you did it for Me. (Matthew 25)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I use a high quality Almond Oil. I know it might seem odd to put oil on your face, but it really works. (I probably have 'normal' skin.)
No more toxic chemicals.
No more $10 to $30 and up moisturizer!
No more various bottles of different kinds of moisturizers!
One bottle, one low price and natural! Can't beat that.
I also use this right after the shower for a body moisturizer.
I recently added lavender oil to it so now I have scented moisturizer.
See more Works for Me Wednesday ideas here.
Are you a mama who could use an encouraging word today? Click here
Would you like to join our spiritual challenge for the new year with probing questions? Start here
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I think I’ve lived under an illusion for many years that has caused great frustration and much discontent. I am a person who likes order. Not much thrills me more than shelves lined with the same size Rubbermaid containers. All of which have perfectly printed labels.
Now, having said this, a few things keep me from living in this perfectly organized little world. One, my own laziness, busyness and distractedness. Two, nine beautiful blessings, my children. Three, small house, lots of people, lots of stuff. Even though I am not a pack rat, and always seem to give away or throw away stuff, eleven people have lots of stuff!
It is my job as a Mama and manager of our household to manage efficiently all this stuff. The illusion I have lived under is that if I could just go through the house and organize everything, then, well, then I would be done! It sounded so reasonable and simple to me and I didn’t understand why the children didn’t get it. Maybe if they were trained better. Maybe if my house was bigger. On and on I could go with the reasons as to why I just can’t get it done and be done. Was it me?
Praise God for opening my eyes to the realization that this is my job! My dear husband pointed out that he wouldn’t go to work one day and just be ‘done’ with his work because he did it. It is what he does, and this is what I do, at least in part.
Our needs constantly change, new babies, new seasons, new clothes, toys get outgrown, diet changes, on and on the list goes. It is my job, no, my great privilege to manage all these changes. It is extremely challenging at times, but my God is right there ready to give wisdom and unique solutions to me. It will never be done, and that is okay! Now I can accept this truth and tell myself that this is part of my calling. I’ve long ago accepted the house won’t always look perfect, though I do so love the few minutes it looks that way on cleaning day. ;)
Now I am able to look at each new area that needs reworking and reorganizing as an opportunity to ‘do my job’. I used to get frustrated because I seemed to be wired to have everything organized and could never achieve it. Now I realized that ‘wiring’ is not a curse given to me to frustrate me, but a gift from God to help me manage our stuff as efficiently as I can.
Perfectly, by no means, but well enough!
I am working on joyfully embracing the mess, looking at it as an opportunity to use my gifts, glorify my God, and teach my children how to adapt, organize and that the stuff isn’t worth losing our peace over.
...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
It's what we do with the 'littles' in our life
that really counts, right ladies?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
But something odd happened the other day concerning her. I read her profile, and guess what? The Lord used it to challenge me again. Not her blog, her profile! It went like this:
The kind that exalt God.
Exalting God music
Can you guess?
I don't know why it hit me like it did, but WOW. Of course I desire to exalt God with my life, but somehow this made me question all the choices I make for my time, my viewing, my listening, my reading ect. Do I filter them through what I am now calling my "Exalting God" filter?
So, my prayers and dreams for the year??
- Seeking to exalt God in all I do and say! ( I know this might sound trite, but it was huge to me)
- to be sweeter
- to be gentler
- to be kinder
- to speak softer
- to love more
I am sure you are jumping out of your skin to know who this woman is. She can be found at "A Wise Woman Builds Her Home"
Thursday, January 1, 2009
(While you work with the older kids...)
Toy Rotation: bring out toys like those following that they only get to play with once in a while, or maybe even only while you're working with the other child. I've even had luck with boxing up a bunch of toys, and bringing them out later……the kids think they're new toys!
"Priming the pump." I've found that often if I just take 3 minutes to throw a few new toys out that the kids haven't played with in a while that they find new interest and will keep busy for 15-20 minutes. Just a few minutes of "priming the pump" might yield you that bit of quiet time you need!
Good quality toys like Brio train sets or Brio Mec. These seem expensive, but if you figure the dollar value per hour of playtime, they're cheap! I recommend saving them for the grandkids even though it's tempting to sell 'em off as the kids get older.
Toys horses with stables
Refrigerator/washing machine boxes (these are good for at least 3 weeks of play!). Any cardboard box is a thrill for me kids, and so are those bubble pad sheets for shipping!
Dominos-do you remember lining them up so they would all fall when you touched the first one?
Books on tape with a little kid tape recorder
Junk Mail……save your junk mail and do a "mail call" once a week or so. Let them open it up.
Car maps……these can be the commercial ones made of carpet, or you can even use tape to mark your kitchen floor
The Tupperware cupboard-who doesn't have a drawer or cupboard filled with plastic storage containers? Pull them out all over the floor with some measuring cups. If you're brave, and depending on the age, you could even let the child measure beans or water or something else that's safe. Or maybe have them wash plastic containers at the sink.
Animal collections-my kids love playing with these inexpensive museum quality figurines!
Stencils-you can find these cheap or free easily.
Thread cereal rings on spaghetti noodles! You could use Playdough as a base.
Bowling with foam/rubber balls and toilet paper tubes in the hall.
Make a little photo album that's kid safe. I used my "reject" photos and made up a cheap little album for my daughter and she loved looking at the pictures of our family!
A deck of cards to play with!
A cleared out cupboard gives my 5 year old a thrill to hide in! His own little cubby hole!
A toy shopping cart. I see these at garage sales all the time. You can even have the child go collect his toys on the floor!
I don't worry if occasionally I resort to mindless computer games and TV! Once in a while it can be a life saver, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does it! But I try to keep these two things to a minimum.
What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
Now for a glimpse into today’s journal time.
I looked over my whole journal from the past year - searching to see if there was a theme. Surely the whole year followed the "theme" and verses from last January first. I looked and searched . . . in vain. There was no theme, how disappointing! Not even a thread of commonality?
Well now what? What is the point of once again, sitting down, praying, making a list, writing out my goals, only to look back next year and once again be disappointed?
But wait a minute here. What I do see is, each and every day, every struggle, every heartache, every fear, every doubt, every question, every joy and delight, everything, You spoke to my heart. You heard my cry! You supplied daily all I needed! It was a daily thing, not a yearly thing.
I’m always looking for this grand plan; regardless of the area of life. I’m looking for that "one time answer." Be it organization, cleaning, schedule, routine, scripture, Word from God, just find me the answer or list, I’ll do it and we are done. NO! That is not it. It is "day by day." It is a continual need to be supplied.
It is not take a drink and you are done. No, it is continual, living, flowing waters. I need You daily, hourly, minute by minute.
How dreadfully sad to think You give me one Word the first of the year and say
"there, there you go sweetie, good luck, keep focused on this and we’ll see you again next year."
No, Your way of doing this is far better. You want me to look to You constantly. To ask daily, "what’s the verse or theme or plan or goal for today, Lord"
I can make my lists and plans each new year, but somehow You orchestrate my life in such a way that I need to totally and utterly rely on You every day, all day. My big plans always seem to fail. Your plans seem to stand.
"A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure." (Pr 16:9)
" Yet you do not know the least thing about what might happen tomorrow . . . You ought to say if the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that." (James 2:3-15)
"All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Pr 16:2)
If I do make a "list" perhaps I should hold on to it very loosely~with a whisper of "if it be Your will" and "Roll my works upon the Lord . . . He will cause my thoughts to become agreeable to His Will . . .(Pr. 16:3)
I am in no way saying we should not examine the past, plan for the future, hope and dream. I am just saying He wants me to see His hand daily, seek for His plans and goals, daily. If you were a bit sheepish about making your list of goals due to past failures I hope this speaks to your heart and encourages you as it did me. I will probably share my dreams and hopes for the new year in another post, but somehow it feels different from years past. The words I hear echo in my heart now are...
- Be Content-Thankful
- See God in all things
- Praise Him whatever befall
It will be a good and blessed New Year!
Be sure to check out Biblical Womanhood, where other precious ladies have shared their goals.