Thursday, June 23, 2011

Intentionally spending time in the Word

So again, its been a long time! We have been very busy with Brogan's first birthday (can you believe it?!) and just life in general! In my continual quest to become more organized I am trying to become more intentional about how I use my time. I have been very fortunate because recently Brogan decided to take 2 naps a day consistently! So, I am trying to optimize my time as much as possible for as long as this phase lasts.

For the past year or so, my husband and I have been doing daily devotionals together and we have separately been spending a little time here or there reading the Bible. Our pastor at church has been consistently asking us if we are spending our gift of time growing closer to God. (Time is one of 3 aspects of Stewarship: Time, Talent, Treasure) Well, some of it! I have felt for awhile that I needed to take this aspect of my faith more seriously so Brandon and I talked, and we are going to set aside some time in the evening for Bible study. We found a great resource: Agape Bible Study , which is a free Catholic based Bible study. It has several different studies, other articles and info! We will be starting with the Beatitudes, which is a 10 week study, then move on from there. There are so many studies on there, it will keep us busy for quite some time, which is great!

This is going to be a great, wonderful challenge. How are you spending the gift of your time?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

He is Risen! As I contemplated Christ's sacrifice for us over the last few days, I began to feel the familiar shame over my sins. Each year at Easter, I get very emotional about the sacrifice that Christ made for us and the part I play in his sufferings. Sometimes I am so sad and so ashamed, I have difficulty celebrating because of what Christ went through for us! In our church bulletin today there was a quote from St. Augustine which I wanted to share. I need to keep this in mind whenever I begin to feel those familiar pangs. Its ok to be sorry for our contribution to the cross, but we need to keep our hope in the Glory of Easter!

"The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon Himself the death that He found in us, He most faithfully promised to give us life in Him, such as we cannot have of ourselves. He loved us so much that, sinless Himself, He suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can He fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for He is the source of righteousness? How can He, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when He bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin Himself? Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory."

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the Easter egg hunt and our walk at the park this weekend :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where is Spring?

This cold weather seems interminable! I am still making soups, which I thought I would have been done with those a month ago! So, I'm posting a delicious soup recipe that I recently made for those chilly Spring days!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - serves 6ish

2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups cooked/cubed chicken
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced onion
3 cloves garlic -minced
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 T oregano
black pepper
hot peppers if desired

Saute onions and garlic until onions are transparent, add yellow pepper and saute for a few minutes. Combine rest of ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips.

I love this recipe because I just use whatever I have on hand - easy to mix and match, its quick too! You can add cilantro, a jar of salsa, hot peppers or cayenne pepper to your desired heat, use avocado or sour cream as garnishes as well. :)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

So I know its been a long time. I've thought a lot about sitting down to write an update, but then suddenly its on the bottom of the list and it never happens. We have been busy keeping our house (semi)clean while its on the market. The basement has been finished, I am planning Andrea and Joe's engagement party, we went out of town to Chicago last weekend, etc! Needless to say, this update is going to be all over the place.

So, first of all, the house: It has been on the market for about 5 weeks now. We have had 2 showings. The feedback for the first was very positive, they just wished we had carpet down in the basement. However, they have to sell their house first before they buy. The other showing has not given any feed back yet, but they had just come this past Wednesday. The bad news is, another house went on the market in our neighborhood, so that makes 5 others right by us that are for sale. We'll see. If it doesn't sell, we are ok with that. We would love to have a large yard so that the kids could go out an play, but it isn't a requirement, and we could be quite happy here for a while!

Andrea and Joe's engagement party is coming along. It is scheduled for May 1st. I finally got the invites out. We are having it at a coffee shop in downtown Grand Rapids. It should be really cute! I have been getting a lot of help from my mom and my sisters, thank goodness. This party planning business is a lot of work! :)

Now onto what you really want to hear about: Brogan! He has 3 teeth right now, 1 is coming through as I write this, and 1 more is just sitting there waiting to come in. He is balancing by himself, can walk with 1 hand assistance and every once in awhile will try to take a step. He can crawl up and down the stairs with one of us standing there. About 7 weeks ago he got his first official haircut and he definitely needs another one!

It has been amazing to watch him grow. I can't believe in less than 2 months he'll be a year old. He is now understanding some words and following a few simple commands. His favorite is when I tell him to "shake the ball!" and he'll do it! :) I hope to get some more pictures as the weather continues to improve and I will post them here. Have a great day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Accountability Update

Well time flies, doesn't it? I have had difficulty finding time to work on this. We have been busy getting ready to put our house on the market. Our goal at this time is to sell our house, buy some land and build a house. We had a lot of family over to help us clean a few weeks would have taken us months to do it ourselves! Thank you to everyone who helped!

The day after I posted the first message, I actually got up on time, worked out, and did all I said I was going to do! It felt great! I felt so much more productive and at ease. Since then, I have been working out a few days a week and trying to keep up with housework, though I must admit, not as much as I wanted to. With the basement under construction and the house kind of torn apart, keeping up has just not been feasible. And, you'll be happy to know, I haven't been stressing out about it! Its just the way it will be for a little while!

On another topic...
One of the ways I have been honoring my accountability to Christ is through daily devotionals. I came across one the other day that I'd like to share. It speaks to something I have been thinking about for a while now. It is part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount:

               "...Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." Mt 5:16

We are the Body of Christ. We are His Hands and Feet. We bring Christ to others, partly through our good deeds. However, we can't just do good and expect others to know that God is responsible for our actions. They may think we are just do-gooders. We need (Jesus says must) to shine our light before others. How do we do this? I think of my daily grind and the limited interaction I get with others outside of my own family. How am I going to shine the light for Christ so that in my good deeds, He may be glorified? I definitely get stuck here. It is a work in progress....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Accountability Challenge

....I feel like I never get enough done. There aren't enough hours in the day. All I did was get up late (I did set the alarm - just didn't get up when it went off!)  got some laundry put away, played with/fed my son, went to work for 6 hours and suddenly the day was done! But one of my coworkers is a single mom of 3, works full time, works out sometimes twice a day, blogs, keeps house and still has time/energy to go out! How the heck?! Something obviously has got to give!

So, you might ask. If you can't seem to get anything done, why are you starting a blog? Well, I have thought long and hard about this. I kept thinking I would want to start one, then would think about how much I  already leave unfinished, so I wouldn't. However, the chaos has gotten to the point where I really felt I needed to be more accountable. I think making it concrete for all the world to see is going to help!

So here are my goals: not sacrifice God or family time. Lofty goals, huh? Oh yeah, and keep house, meal plan, work out and now blog. Yikes!

Here are my problems: I have trouble getting up early/going to bed late. (I LOVE sleep!), I am not naturally organized, I have trouble getting stuff done with a mobile 8 month old.

Now I know there are plenty of women out there who have easily overcome these issues but for some reason I am having trouble! I need time management, organization and accountability!!!!

So, I started this blog. I am going to track my successes/failures along the way and see if I can be more productive without having to take away from family and God time.

I am using Titus 2:4-5 as encouragement: "so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

My goals for tomorrow:
  • get up at 6 am to clean bathrooms
  • work out after feeding Brogan (he'll be watching from his bumbo)
  • play with Brogan
  • straighten up if there is time before work
  • leftovers for dinner
We'll see how it goes!