Thursday, July 19, 2012

Burning in My Heart

I asked my son yesterday if all was right in his world and he said it would be if he had this new toy he's been longing after. WOW. There are kids in other countries with no food or shelter and the only thing that would make my kids day better is if he had a certain new toy?! I reminded him of these things and told him he should feel blessed beyond measure! And I think he does, really, it's just so EASY to take the roof over our heads, the food on our table, the clothes on our back for granted.

Being thankful and knowing we are blessed simply isn't enough, however.  In Luke 16, it says that God responds to those who neglect the poor with condemnation. THAT is not what I want to face on Judgment Day. I do not want to face condemnation for not doing something that really, is so SIMPLE to do. As I've been reading Ann Voskamp's Blog, I have been challenged, convicted, saddened, and blown away all at the same time. This is something that's always been on my heart- compassion to help others- but this has really touched me and inspired me. There are so many people in the world who have so much less than us and yet what do we do about it?

It might require a little sacrifice on our end but with everything that we are so blessed with, how can we NOT do something to help those without a home? Without food? Without clothing?

For $38 a month (the price of cable TV or internet, perhaps?), you can sponsor a child through Compassion International. Also through Compassion, you can provide clean drinking water for a one time donation of $55. They also have a Gift Catalog where you can choose a gift to donate. An insecticide treated mosquito net for someone living in Africa to help prevent Malaria is only $12. My sons could each save that up in a month or two.

I was once reading a wonderful book called Chazown (Hebrew for vision) and it asks in there what is something that makes you angry? Not just angry but angry for God? My answer immediately was that when a low income person without insurance decides they want help for their addiction, they are put on a waiting list because there are SO MANY people who need help. There has GOT to be a way to help these people get the help they need NOW instead of sending them back home to get drunk or high yet again. If you haven't learned yet what God's vision is for your life, I highly suggest reading this book. It's witty, interactive with exercises and questions, and will help you to gain a more clear picture for what God wants out of your life.

I am not sure where this will lead me but I am prayerfully considering it. Praying about what I am to DO with all of this, how I can teach and encourage my sons, and that my husband will come along side- no rather lead the way- as we do what we are called to do. It is my heart's desire to glorify God in all that I do, to be His hands & feet. To be Moses and not leave my kindred- brothers and sisters in Christ. It is my heart's desire that my family be a blessing to others and that my children, regardless of if they have the latest and greatest or not, will be so very grateful for all the blessings we DO have in our lives.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Confidence in God

"Confident people don’t concentrate on their weakness; they develop and maximize their strengths." –Joyce Meyer

This came across my Facebook news feed some time ago and I thought wow... if only I could put that into practice. Use my strengths to honor God. Be thankful for them. I am weak but He is strong.

My weakness, however IS confidence. So I wonder, would it be safe to say that if I work on developing and maximizing my strengths, which would require me stepping out of my comfort zone, that the confidence would follow?

I think so!

And now I have to ask myself: in what areas am I strongest?

I am most definitely compassionate. I wish I had the resources to help everyone, whether it be with clothing, food, encouragment, weight loss, or any other area! Another area I am strong in is hospitality.

HOW do I do these things when confidence is my weakness? By remembering to put my confidence in GOD and not in myself. If He's called us all to do something, we need to step out in FAITH and do it, whether we are confident in our abilities or not. Don't focus on what's holding you back. Focus on God, focus on what you are called to do.

"I can do all things in Him who gives me strength." (Phil 4:13)

"For it is we who serve God by His spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh." (Phil 3:3)

Overcome fear. Feel it but overcome it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Life and Home Rennovations

Well, it's been a while since I've posted so I figured I had better give an update! I'm working on a few posts on who our family is, the pursuit of joy, and being chronically late but I am just in the beginning stages of them so keep an eye out!

On June 22nd, 2012, I got remarried. I absolutely love and adore this man! He's wonderful in so many ways. We enjoy being together, no matter what it is we're doing- cooking, cleaning, playing games, hanging out with the kids, or date nights. Doesn't have to be anything fancy or exciting, we just like to BE together.

Our wedding was at the courthouse and we were running late (ha! remember that blog post I'm working on?) but the judge was also running behind so it was not a huge deal except that our photographer had come early to take some pics and we had some squirrly kids waiting. The ceremony was short and sweet. I absolutely could not wait to kiss him at the end!

After the ceremony and some pictures, my new husband (still get giddy saying that!) and I went out to dinner at Noto's. What an experience! We were the only ones with reservations in the wine cellar that night so the waitress and chef were all ours which I think made it even more of an experience. Very personal, very intimate. 

Chef Paul cooking the pasta course tableside!
The following night, we celebrated with our families at our favorite restaurant. We had the private dining room booked and 24 people sat around a huge table, enjoying the food and each other. It was a marvelous time!

We still weren't done with Aidan's bedroom so we got crackin' on that right after we got all of our stuff moved in on Sunday. Phew! Adding a bedroom to a basement is much more work than I anticipated! Especially considering the basement was already finished so two walls and the ceiling were done already. I thought adding two walls would be a breeze. But there was a lot of work to tie into the existing structure. It turned out VERY nice, though, and Aidan is so excited about it. Whenever he hears someone is coming over, he runs downstairs and cleans his room up and makes his bed. Gotta love that!

Will add a better pic of the whole room later!
Now, finally, I think we are settling into a routine and getting used to life in the new place as a new family. The boys are doing great, for the most part, and Dan and I are a united front working hard to make our home a loving, nurturing place!

Another piece to that puzzle was me quitting my job yesterday. It's always been on my heart to be at home and there have been times I've been able to do that and times that I haven't. I am thrilled to be at home again full time soon! I think it will help more with our routines and schedules and also with not being late! There are FOUR things that are very important to me and none of them are happening now: daily quiet time with God, eating breakfast with the boys, exercising regularly, and doing devotions with Dan. We do all of these things some of the time but I'm hoping that being at home full time will enable us to do all of these things all of the time!