STEP TWO – Simplicity Series – Making a Simple Schedule for the Summer

STEP TWO in the Simplicity Series

Step One was the reason that I had to find a way to declutter my life.  Popped open diapers and neighbors who just walk right in.  If you want to read the whole story, check out Lysa’s site where I guest posted.

SO here is the break down for the rest of this Series:

I will give you a home challenge connected with a heart challenge.

Three days a week.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

We hit it hard in the beginning of the week and you have that week to try some of the ideas.

Or try them sometime this summer...

take baby steps or plunge right in.  

The important part is maintaining what you do and add another step: Maintain Plus!

Since I gave you a schedule, today’s challenge is keeping in the same theme:

SCHEDULES – 
How to Make Them Simply Work For You

It was Tuesday afternoon.  I knew I had to do something, but I could not for the life of me remember what it was. Did I remember to unplug the curling iron?  I rarely use one, so it totally could happen.  Yes, I did unplug it.

Is it garbage day?  No, that was yesterday.

I check my calendar and there is nothing written for today…oh wait, something is scribbled in the side of the margin…some numbers and CHUCK E. CHEESE!

oh.no.

I forgot my son’s birthday party.  And actually not so much forgot just to go…I had forgotten to invite people.

So, one call later, and a changed date, and we have ourselves a new party.

I don’t even think it counts as being forgotten if it was never really planned.  My son had no idea that I had already called and made that date.  He just new he was getting a party sometime.   He is the fourth child.  I guess he just feels lucky to be having one.

So, for me, to simplify my schedule is not just a thing I could to try if I have some free time this summer.  It is a necessity in order for my family to feel a sense of peace and fun anticipation. Children (and me) need to know what is coming.  It gives them a sense of stability.  And for fun events, it helps to get them excited.  I am not saying you cannot surprise your children, but, “Surprise, you have soccer practice in five minutes and we live ten minutes away” is no fun for anyone!

So here are some tips to help clear your calendar and make each moment more meaningful:

Don’t Over Plan – Summer leads to a more relaxed schedule, but often that can lead to more things we try to get done.  Look at the calendar in the beginning of the week and be intentional about what activities you are going to be involved with.

Build In Margin – If there is a free day, you do not have to fill it!  A free day can be a wonderful time to get things done at home or even for the children to just “be” at home, whether that means reading, jumping on the trampoline, or playing games.

Plan for Interruptions – When you are planning to go somewhere, count on adding at least ten minutes for forgotten footwear, last minute bathroom breaks, and lost bumpies (blankets).  If you add on these minutes now, you will not find yourself running late.

Make a List – Whether it is a bucket list for the summer or a list of places to visit, make that list and put them on the calendar right now.

Be Specific – When I was a teacher, I was very specific in my daily schedule because I had a principal as  my authority.  Well, God is a bigger authority and I have to be responsible for the things he has given to me : children, time, gifts, activities.  I need to be specific in my schedule and mark down what I am doing. Put down time for just you and one child even if you have four.  If you write it down, it will more likely happen.

Celebrate – Don’t forget to put in times to just have fun with no reason.  Or celebrate when a week went well and you made it to all the birthday parties! Life really does go too fast and you want to enjoy as many MOMents as you can.

Now for the Heart Connection – (Oh, I can’t wait to switch to WordPress so I can add different fonts and hearts here…)

In order for any day to run more smoothly, I have to put in time with Jesus.  We can plan our days and ask Him to join us, but what really needs to happen is for us to join Him where He is already working.  Even just ten minutes to connect and read His Word will focus our hearts and clear from our minds what are earthly distractions so that we may focus on what is eternal.

This doesn’t mean we will forget that we need a new van or that a friend has breast cancer, but by coming to Him in prayer, and worshiping Him, we will be reminded of His omnipotence and know He can help us get through any struggle and we will be focused on His omnipresence and we will remember that He will never leave us.

And those are the things that I want to remember…along with my son’s birthday party!

5 Rooms – 5 Tips to Save 5 hours of Time

Five Tips to Save Time
And Enjoy Being A Mom
I enjoy being a mom.  Do not get me wrong.  I love the taking care of the kids part.  I love the taking care of the home part.  It is just the taking care of the kids while I am taking care of the home.  And my husband.  And the laundry. And the Christmas cards (What?  My friends and family will now be asking, “Christmas cards?  We have not gotten those in three years!”  Oh, just wait…I am sending them for. the. last. three. years.) And the cooking.  And the dentist appointments. And…the new puppy.
There is just a lot to take care of being a mom.  I am not complaining and I am not even going to say that I do not have enough time in the day to do everything, because I really do.  We all do.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I will be the first to say it would be nice to have “more time.”  And we can look at other people and think we know what is going on in their lives that make it so much easier  and is reaping so much more time in their lives:
“Oh, she sends her kids to school.  She has all day to get things done.”
“Oh, she homeschools, she doesn’t have to do anything with the school that takes up time.”
“Oh, she is a stay at home mom who can get stuff done.”
“Oh, she works, but gets the summers off to get things done.”
“Oh, she has a cleaning lady.  Of course she has more time.”
But it really comes down to this:
What do you do with your time?
Here are five ways that I am going to save 5 or more hours every week.  Get ready.  Some of it is kind of radical, and some of it is kind of common knowledge that I do not make common enough in my life.  
Hold me to it, Friends…
Let’s start in the Kitchen:
TIP ONE:
Most of the time while I am making our meals, I am distracted by children (not distractions…let’s call them opportunities for some major growth!), phone calls, having to let the puppy out, etc.  I am going to start cutting back my prep time by waiting until the kiddos are in bed and I can fully prepare for the next day’s meals.  This is not to say I will not leave some things for my kids to do.  I actually think kids can prepare many parts of the meal.  If you can make it a part of your daily  routine, that is great.  But for the average parent who is busy trying to help get homework done, Sally off to soccer, and make it in time for the neighborhood book club, this might help. 
And it might even make some special time with your husband.  Why not prepare together?  Or have him going through paperwork at the table while you are preparing the pancake batter for tomorrow’s breakfast.  It only takes about 10 minutes to make the batter, put it in the fridge, then set the plates, syrup, and skillet out just ready for the next day.  And while you are at it, write a quick note to say, “Good luck on that speech” or just a simple, “Good morning. I love you.”
Next the Laundry Room:
TIP TWO:
If you have read any of my Christmas cards (from before three years ago), you would notice a trend:
I.hate.laundry.  (Please do not tell my kids I said this because we try not to say the h-word (hate), unless we are talking about sin, but really. . .laundry is pretty close to dirty sin. . .
Seriously, I talk about it in my Christmas letters.  Who does that?  But that is how much it permeates my life!
My time saver for this:
Do your laundry EVERY DAY.  Okay, I know . . . some of you will be thinking, “Yes, obviously, Angie, thanks for the take away tip that I took away many, many, years ago…”  But some of you might be in the camp of save it all for one day and get it all done that day.  My deal is that I want to be in the do it every day camp, but sometimes things get in the way and I forget, get too busy, decide to write a book, and it just does not get done.  SO, then I spend all weekend doing my laundry and it piles up all over my family room.  Clean  piles, but still piles…
Now, we have a basket that I put out in the hall and the kids put their clothes in it at the end of the day and I wash that load.  No more cleaning their rooms on Saturday and having a ton of folded clothes in the laundry bin.  I totally tried that growing up.  We actually had a wicker laundry bin that had a top on it.  I thought I was pulling a fast one on my mom until she busted me with the clothes that were still folded shoved into the bottom of the bin!
Best part, is you can do it while you are getting ready for tomorrow’s meals!
On to the Study:
TIP THREE:
Two time eaters in this room:  computers and phones.  Or, if you have a smart phone, this could be the same thing.  When you use either one, it is easy to lose track of time.  “Check e-mail twice a day and return messages all at once.  You’ll save an hour a day,” suggests Kristine Breese, author of Cereal for Dinner: Strategies, Shortcuts & Sanity for Moms Battling Cancer.
One of my friends just made a resolution to take Facebook off her phone.  What a great way to get the most out of your day instead of being constantly updated and distracted.  On average, one study showed subjects checked their phones 34 times a day, not necessarily because they really needed to check them that many times, but because it had become a habit or compulsion.
Next the Car…(Okay, not exactly a room, but please show me a little grace):
TIP FOUR:
I am not a huge errand mama.  I know some ladies who seem to be “running errands” all the time.  I am always thinking to myself, “What are these people doing every day?  What am I supposed to be doing and am not?”  And then, when I run out of paper towels, tissue paper, and napkins at the same time, I understand a little bit better.
In order to save time, Molly Gold, whose company GoMom, Inc, creates mom-friendly products, encourages moms to map out your errands before you leave your house. “You’ll save time if you make a circular route of your stops…and shave off two hours a week if you tackle a list with a partner.”  Whether it is your husband on the weekends or a friend down the street.  My sister has a neighbor who will always call when she is making a Costco run.  My sister does the same.  They can save time taking turns. 
And the last one…
the Family Room:
TIP FIVE:
I absolutely love this one and this one will be the radical one for some and not so much for others.  Judith Wright, author of There Must Be More Than This: Finding More Life, Love, and Meaning by Overcoming  Your Soft Addictions, states, “If you establish one or more TV-free nights every week, families can gain back eight hours a week…since Americans, on average, watch four hours of TV a night.”
Now, for some families, they might not watch TV during the week or maybe they only watch one show a week.  But for some others, maybe the die-hard getawholeseasonandwatchitonenight fans, this might save some time.
I know for me, if I get started watching something late at night with a yummy cheese stick snack, I can keep watching and keep eating. Instead of doing something a tad more productive or sleeping, I am wasting time.  Now, please hear this, I am not saying all TV is a waste of time.  Sometimes a fun 30 minute episode of American Funniest Home Videos is a perfect way to bring a family together.  I am saying, for me (and I am going to make my husband, fan of 24, do this too) the late nights of marathon episodes are done.
With the time I am saving, I am hoping to make more time for meaningful memories.  Precious MOMents.  The kinds of MOMents that makes us mamas love being a mom!

5 Steps to Achieve Your Dreams

I know what you are thinking…

I sound like a life coach.  (Man, I wish I had thought of that job! )

But I mean it,

Only 5 Steps to Achieve Your Dreams

We tell our kids all the time that they can do whatever they set their minds on.  Dream Big!

The only catch is that the dreams that you might think are theirs or yours may be just that.  YOUR dreams.  What you desire to do might not be what God has in store for you…  
His Dreams. 
His Plans.

That being said, I believe God instills in each of us a desire and enjoyment of a certain activity that combines with talents or gifts He has given us.

God tells us in Romans 12:5-7 that He gives us different gifts and talents.

And with those talents, those natural bents, you tend to want to do something. Be something.  Write something. Teach something.  Serve people. Decorate homes. Care for the elderly. Guide people. Do something. Create something.

Have you achieved all that you want?  All that you think you can do for Him?

If you are still breathing, He still has work for you to complete.  He is still working on and in your Heart. Your HEART.  That is where we will start:

STEP 1:

H – Hurt

What?! What kind of beginning is that?  Yep, I said it.  Step one is being okay with not being where you thought you would be.  It is being okay with feeling disappointed enough to do something.  It is okay to hurt.  It is being okay with the fact that the book you have been wanting to write for five years, and had an outline for, but you had all these kids that needed your attention and time and you had to work so you never got to write it, and someone else just published a book with the same idea…or something like that. (sigh)
It is okay feeling a tinge of sadness when you see a house that is organized and clean and all the kids there wear underwear.  Because I guess to some, that is a big deal.  Our household, not so much…  It all depends on the never-ending laundry situation…
It is okay if your child cries over not making the musical.  Let her cry. Cry with her, but then tell her there is hope.

Be upset, be bummed, be disappointed.  But then…Be done.

STEP 2:

E – Endure

This is where your hurt turns into work.  Yes, you have to endure and persevere to make your goals happen.  Success does not come overnight.  I should have written that book then. Someone else should have taken that extra class in college.  Another should have trained a little harder.  But all these “should haves” need to be turned into “will do.”  You have to set your mind on the fact that anything takes work.  Be prepared for a few sacrifices.  Even the whole world took six days.  Did you really think you would get your closet organized in one Saturday afternoon?

Remember, your children will look to you to set the tone for these MOMents.  Will you encourage them to keep practicing for the recital? Will you write out a list of college grants to apply for and help them check off each one?   Do you sit with them as they practice their audition song?  And then, do you spend that much time on your dream? So now, you know what to do.  But how?

STEP 3:

A – Act

This is the most detailed step as far as the planning that goes into it.  This is the part where I sound like a life coach again.  I wonder how much they make?
This is where you act on your dream.  Make an action plan.
First, write down your dream. His dream.
Then,
You need to set goals.  Little goals.  Day by day goals.
For example, I cannot just say,”I am going to write a book today” (because that one author already wrote it…) :)
No, I need to break it up. I am going to do one blog entry.  This week I am going to send out one proposal.  This week, I will write 1,000 pages.

For someone else, it could be, “Today, I am going to clean my junk drawer. This week, I will switch out my clothes for winter.”  Or it could be, “Today, I am going to find my old resume.  This week, I will rewrite it.  Next week, I will send it to three employment offices.” Or, “Today, I will write out a daily reading calendar for the whole Bible. Tomorrow, I will start on Day One.”

You have to act on it.  Make lists.  Check the list. Double check the list.  Start simply, but simply start!

STEP 4:

R – Reach Out

This is one of the most fun steps for some, but could be terrifying for others.  You need to reach out for help.  It could be as simple as asking someone to proofread an article.  Have a friend go through one bin of summer clothes with you. Meet with an advisor to evaluate your spending budget.  OR it could mean a little more.  Set up a time to see a counselor on a weekly basis.  Meet with a mentor. Contact several communities to get connected.  A little networking goes a long way.  And keep track of those networks.  Be organized with each step.  The worst thing I did was lose the name of an editor that said I could send him a manuscript of a book.  Lost chance. Lesson learned.

People want to help.  Especially your friends.  They are there to support you when it is hard and to celebrate when things do start falling into place.

and STEP 5:

T – Thank Him

This is the most important.  Thank God for what He has done so far.  Celebrate the little things in achieving your dreams.  Throw a mini party with the kids once the whole basement is clean.  Do not agonize about the whole house.  Be thankful you have a home to live in, and celebrate that fact.  Go out for ice cream when you memorized the book of James or maybe even just the first verse.  Write a letter to your grandchildren (that you have or that you  might have someday) and record all the details of running the marathon.  Not just when you finished it, but even the training.  Life is made up of the training.  Each step will be a celebration of what God is doing so far in your story.  Teach your children to be grateful for the little things in their lives.

A friend shared a great idea: Make a backward bucket list and list all the things you have done.  You will see that He has already given you more than you could have asked or imagined.  And He will continue to give you gifts.  Gifts to use for Him.

He gave you your talents, your being, your HEART.  He came to live in your heart.

To love.
To live.
To love. YOU.

I pray as I write these words that you might give your heart to Him.  HE is the one who gave you this MOMent.

How will you use it?

Five Friends Everyone Needs

I was talking to a dear friend recently and she said something that I really needed to hear.  She said, “I really like what you write.  You are a good writer.”

They were simple words to say.  Said in a quick conversation while she picked up her daughter from my house.  I am sure she has not thought about them since, but hearing those words brightened my outlook in that one moment.

A good writer?  Hmm… Maybe I can finish that proposal tonight.  Maybe I can add a few more chapters on that book.  Maybe I can just jot down in my journal a couple cute things my kids said today.

She is my friend and she was being my friend.

She was being a friend.

A specific type of friend.

For at least in that moment she was being an encourager.

That is one example of the Five Friends that Everyone Needs:

The Encourager

This friend is the one who notices the little things and makes them into special big things.  She is the one that knows your hair is a little lighter and a little shorter.  She is the one who comes to the PTA meeting just because you are speaking about getting new uniforms for gym class.  She is the one who LIKES your Facebook page of your son setting up a tea party for you.  This Friend is the one who helps you get dressed for your first date after your divorce.  The one that puts notes of devotion into your car, your phone, your heart.  She encourages you because she loves you.

The Listener

This friend is the one who you can call at any time of day and night and she will answer.  Even late at night, she sounds as if she has been up just waiting for you to call.  She lets you talk about being up all night worrying about your house addition without mentioning that she actually had the flu all night.  She is the one who not only lets you share all the silly, but extremely important, details of your sixth date, but asks questions about what you wore, what he said, and if the topic of marriage came up.  This Friend sits down when you are together, jumps in your car while waiting to pick up your kids, and walks with you even though she would rather get a Chocolate Frosty.  She listens to you because she loves you.

The Challenger

This friend knows your flaws, your ick, yuck, and muck, and will still ask you to rethink the next step.  This is the one who asks if it good for your family.  If it is good for you.  She questions where you have been.  She checks the garbage can.  This is the friend that will use your words right back at you to make you happier, stronger, and hopefully a little wiser.  This is the one who calls you to get your body out of bed and into the pool so you can be ready for that tri-athalon. She challenges you because she loves you.

The Sister

This friend does not have to be a childhood sister or even one by marriage.  It is the Friend who is like your sister in every way.  She will come over to your house at 5am to watch your kids so you and your husband can catch a flight to Aruba.  You can drop your kids off to her house in an emergency or even if you need to take a nap.  She is the friend that doesn’t go to the party without you because she has your back and you have hers. She will listen to your complaints about boyfriends who never love, husbands who never lead, or exes that never learn.  She is the one who in the future, when learning about your death, will go straight to your house and make sure it is clean before notifying any of your other friends.  She is the one who does not judge you when you ask for the seventy fifth time if it was okay that you told the neighbor that you spank your children.  To have a sister friend is wonderful.  But when she is a family member and you get to share childhood memories, holiday traditions, and vacation mishaps, you are doubly blessed.  This friend prays for you, prays with you, and honors you. She is your sister because she loves you.

The Savior

This friend outshines them all, for without this one, all the others will fade away.  Other friends will let you down. This is the friend who desires to be with you.  Desires to share wisdom with you. Desires to encourage you. Desires to challenge you. Desires to listen to you. This is the friend who values you so much that every minute is one to be spent with you.  This friend loves you so completely, He would rather die than to live without you.  This friend is Jesus.  Before time began He thought you up, designed you, and then created you to love Him, to glorify Him, to be His forever.  He thinks you are beautiful.  Jesus loves you because He is love.

“A friend loves at all times.” ~ Proverbs 17:17

National Treasure = The Gospel

We watched National Treasure 2 today.  Even though it was a beautiful day and almost everything inside me said I should be sending my kids out to play in the sun, the other part said I needed to follow through on watching this movie with them and we really needed to return it to my sister!

It is an action packed movie that combines accurate history with a fictional hold-onto-your-seat kidnapping of the president.  Actually the kidnapping is not all that seat gripping.  It is kind of a fun part of the movie.  The gripping part is the last 10 minutes when action meets heart and you are stuck between knowing it ends up good, but afraid to watch in case it doesn’t.  In fact, one of my sons did not want to watch it.

“Tell me when it’s over”  was his mantra.  For almost. Every. Part.
Keep in mind that although I was not making him watch any “scary” parts, I did encourage him by saying, “If you see the struggle, it makes the happy ending that much sweeter.”  When you know all that Ben Gates, the main character, went through, you feel the joy at him finding the treasure ( or does he? ).

It is similar in our lives here on earth.  We must run the race that God has before us.  The race might be hard.  Trials, broken relationships, pain, fear, and hurt will come our way.  And when they do… (It is not an issue of “if,” it is “when.”)….  When they do,  God will help us get through them and it will be even more sweeter on the other side.  Through these trials, you will develop an intimacy with God that  most people do not come close to for you will lean on him with everything you have.

And though those trials will be hard, nothing comes close to the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross in order to give us eternal life with Him in Heaven.

There is a point in the movie where the characters have to make a choice of who to leave behind in order to save the others.  In the end, the choice is made for them.

The choice was made for us.  Jesus died for us.  It is not our choice.  He chose to die for our sins and without the Holy Spirit grabbing our hearts, we would never choose Him.  It is all Jesus.

All Jesus.

Am I ready?

My Dear Husband gave me a night to myself.

A night to write.

A night to get things done.

And this is where I sat:

He even took my children to my In-Laws to really give me peace and quiet.  
(The last time he tried to do this, I went to take a bath and I had one boy in the tub with me and one pooping right by me.  Not a very relaxing bath…)
So I wrote.
And tweeted.
And wrote.
And night came.
And I wrote some more.
And morning came.
And I wanted to write more, but they were home.  
Giggles and shouts.
And snuggles that I needed to have.  I hadn’t had any bare tootsies in my cozy spot for a while…
But I wasn’t ready.
I wanted to write more.
I wanted to get three loads of laundry done.
I wanted to clean up the pantry.
I wanted to organize my closet.
I wasn’t ready.
And although I long for the day when I see my Jesus face to face….
Am I ready?
Have I met each day with the desire to show His love to everyone I meet?
Have I set aside time to be with my Lord in order to learn to love him more?
This is not just a list of “good enoughs.”
I will never be good enough to get into Heaven.  That is what grace is for.  Jesus loving me,  
a sinner, enough to die for me.
In order to give me eternity.
In order to give me full life here on earth.
In order to make me ready.
I guess I am ready…
but my prayer is that everyday: 
He strengthens me more,
He teaches me more,
He uses me more.
And He continues to allow me to encourage others to be ready too!
Blessings,

WELL, TODAY IS BACKWARDS NIGHT!!! 


Well, at least it was at my childrens’ AWANA night at our church.
Everyone dressed with backwards shirts, caps on backwards and even pants on backwards!

I looked up what Backwards means

Backward or back·wards means

1. To or toward the back or rear.

2. With the back leading.

Or

3. Done in a manner opposite than a previous way

That’s the one we are going to focus on:

3. Done in a manner opposite than a previous way

Does anyone know what this is?

ZYXWVUT

SRQPONM

LKJIHG

FEDCBA


Looks pretty weird, huh?
But if we sing it backwards, you could all sing it with me.

Let’s try it now.


ABCDEFGHILJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
You knew that was coming, huh?
Nice job!
It is hard to do a lot of things backwards:

Walking backwards is tough,

Running backwards is even tougher.

Reading backwards is really tough unless it is a word like:


MOM.  


Or

WOW.


Or 

RACECAR.

But you know what, friends?

God asks us to live backwards.

He does!

In the Bible, it says:

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Basically He is saying live in the world, but not of the world.

To be transformed is to live backwards by the world’s standards.

TO the world, it seems backwards for a Christian to get up on Sundays for church!

TO the World, it seems backwards to spend time praying and reading the Bible instead of watching TV.

TO the world, it seems backwards to go on mission trips and maybe live without running water or never seeing your family on holidays…just to tell others about God. 

TO the world, it seems backwards to give your money away to Jesus.  Like we do for our offering.  

TO the world, it seems backwards when people are kind to other people who some people think are unlovable. 

When I was in first grade…I had a friend… Maria Pitssario.   Some of the kids would make fun of her, calling her The Pitts.  Now, I did not make fun of her, but I did not stick up for her.  I was not backwards like I should have been.  I still think about that.  I know I am forgiven for that, but sin has consequence and that one has remained in my mind for a long time.  I should have been backwards for Maria and Jesus!

Check out this video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VtiHkkbq18
DO you see how it all looked wrong and backwards until he turned it upside down and we could see Jesus?

That’s what will happen if we live backwards for Jesus.  We will see Jesus more and more in our lives!

When we are kind, people will see Jesus in us and we will be living backwards for Him.

I would encourage you to think of ways you can be backwards or act more like Jesus today:


Backwards and being patient with your little ones when you are tired.
Backwards in snuggling 5 more minutes even though you have laundry to do.
Backwards in playing a card game with you child instead of checking email.
Backwards in letting her bed look like that because she made it herself.
Backwards in giving up the extra flat screen and sponsoring a child overseas.
Being backwards and saying, “I am sorry” first.


How else can you be backwards today?
Thanks for your time…
And Hello!  It’s backwards night…get it…Hello?  :)


May you be a backwards mom for your kids today!

Blessings,

31 Day Challenge – Day One – You are the Apple of His Eye

Hey Girls!


I am so glad we are doing this together!


Check it out:


Okay, remember the deal is this:

We try to get up every morning to read these Bible devotions for 7 straight days!


Here is our first day – Monday:


How many of you had a hard time getting up this morning?


Isn’t it funny how we can make sure we have enough time to do our hair, make up, take the dog out, but find it hard to have time to make sure our heart is ready for the day?


There are many places in God’s word where it talks about Jesus doing God’s work “early in the morning.”


Not just, “got up.”
Not just, “when he had time.”
Not just, “if he didn’t have homework.”


…”Early In The Morning.”


God led me to the name of this blog from the verse:                                  Mark 1:35
 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.



Jesus knew that He could only do God’s work when He was filled with God’s power.  Whether it was healing, comforting, or telling others about God, He was filled with wisdom and power.  We can also follow His example and be ready to 


heal: a broken relationship with forgiveness
comfort: a friend who got her feelings hurt by a rude comment
tell others:  about who Jesus is in our life 


Jesus promises us that His word is living and enduring:


1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Through this living word, God also reminds us that we are special:

Psalm 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Do you know that?  Do you feel that?  Does how you live show that?  In a world of insecurity and the world telling us we have to look a certain way, have a boyfriend, or have all the latest electronic gadgets, He reminds us that we only need Him.

You are chosen.  You are blessed.
He has called you His own.
May you know His love today
And what His life has shown

That you were created for Him
Created for Care
His death on the cross
So that Eternity we might share!

May you feel His amazing love for you today!



I am praying for you all!
 


Again, our challenge is to get up early and spend time with Jesus, 


so if you are reading this Early in the Morning…Great!!


If it is another time, you are still reading the Living Word and Jesus is going to do mighty things with this time.  


I am so excited to see how each of us will grow.


Warning:  Satan will try to distract you.  He does not like young ladies making a difference for Jesus. 





What are your thoughts this morning?


Blessings,
Angie








Hopes for Infinity and Beyond



Well, Hello My Friends!

I have been off for a bit and I am so sorry about that!

I have been thinking a lot about goals and dreams. The fact is that I have my list of what I want to accomplish…a bucket list of sorts…but I am often reminded that God has a plan for my life that might not be exactly what I desire, but it is always best.

He promises that to us in Jeremiah 29:

“For I know the plans I have for you..plans to prosper you and give you peace.

So I write this list with
a little hesitancy,
a little humility ,
and a lot of humor!

Goals and Dreams For My Life

Top 25 Things that I Want To Do
Subject to change Daily…

1. Run a Marathon.
2. Go camping with all four of my children and husband.
3. Go to Disneyworld (again).
4. Clean out my closet.
5. See my children get married.
6. Go on a vacation with just my husband.
7. Go on a cruise with a fun couple we know.
8. See Wicked…. is it really that good?
9. Play drums for the GoGos (Some dreams I kept from my childhood…)
10. Write a book.
11. Love Jesus with everything I have.
12. Go to the beach.
13. Make a perfect Danish Layer Cake.
14. Grow more than just tomatoes in my garden.
15. See the Holy Lands.
16. Get up early to read the Bible for more than 21 days in a row.
( ‘Cause doesn’t it become a habit, then?)
17. Watch one of my children in a musical or play.
18. Finish a triathlon ( half or whole…I’m not choosy)
19. Speak to women about the changing love of Jesus.
20. Finish our Master Bathroom.
21. Teach my children to be confident and kind.
22. Write a Mother/Daughter Bible Study Book.
23. Read the whole Bible.
24. Teach a college course on anything.
25. See my children walking in the Truth.

Another goal is to write and encourage people so that everyone might be able to find a little joy in their lives – whether it is making cake pops with their child or going on a 16 hour in one day road trip only to come back 2 days later! And that is the purpose of this blog. To encourage joy in the midst of the daily events we all encounter. Whether it is something on our list, or just dropping the kids off at school, you can find joy and ways to share joy.

Because if you look at my list, in the whole realm of life, not a lot will be important. But a few are eternal. I would love to hear about a few of your dreams, hopes, or goals…

Blessings,
Angie

Example of a Pure Prayer

So my three year old, oops- FOUR year old (He just had his birthday) got his picture in the paper this week. It was right on the first page of our neighbor section. It was him raising his head, eyes closed and praying to Jesus. It was at vacation bible school. The photographer made reference to some of the kids with their heads bowed, and some even playing, but my Sweetie was praying with such complete intensity to His Saviour, eyes closed, but head towards the skies.

What an example to me. In so many situations, I am trying to look good with my “head bowed”, doing all the right things to make me feel like I am close to Jesus and make sure others see the service I am giving to Him. And there are even those days where I am just “playing” and doing my own thing, not caring about anybody but myself. I pray I am more like my son, who not only looks to His Creator, but feels His love surround him with all he has to offer His Lord.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12