Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I don't know how some people blog every day. It amazes me. Not that that is my goal or anything. I know I don't have that many interesting things to say. But, I just don't have any "worth sharing" information, lately.

Our latest Blakley news consists of me trying to get our wedding scrapbook together, me trying to keep up with my golf-loving husband (which means I went with him to the driving range tonight, and Justin trying to plant a garden. Oh, and me being very lazy on the whole working out thing. (I'm getting up to workout tomorrow, though).

I'm so excited about my recent focus on scrapbooking (along with my new Creative Memories tools) and the prospect of delicious veggies right from our own yard this summer!

In Jazz news...she managed to viciously murder a lizard in our house, which I was so thankful for. I call it a vicious murder because when we found the lizard, it had no eyes. (Yuck!) Whatever...I was just glad she found it. I screamed when I saw it 3 days before, but there was nothing we could do about it!

Well, now you're basically caught up on our pretty boring lives!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

we're so proud!

For those of you who haven't seen Jazz (our dog) in a while or have never seen her...prepare to be amazed. All Justin wanted was a dog that was smart and fun...that's exactly what he got! Justin's been teaching her to roll over for the last couple of days and now he's so proud. Poor Jazz...now I tell her to sit when it's time to get a treat a she'll lay down, play dead, and roll over because she just wants to do everything and get her treat as soon as she can! We just love our dog...and, yes...she's so spoiled.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I don't know why, but April's been a blah blogging month. On a good note, many nights I have either been working out, focused on cleaning my house or spending time with Justin and Jazz. I must confess, I feel good on nights when I forget to check all my usual blogs, because too often I spend too much time checking out blogs instead of focusing on things that need to get done.

So...since I've been working out on a more regular basis, I really feel like I have more energy and drive to actually clean my house on the schedule that I like to keep. I try to be organized, but honestly, there are always so many lists going on in my head of things that need to get done, I often end up leaving some things undone.

I've decided to try out the Palm Pilot again. Justin's parents bought one for him a couple Christmas's ago, (I know his mom, like me, will forever try to get him organized!) but for a man who doesn't know how to write a to-do list or use a calendar...that's pretty much an obvious gift that was eventually coming my way. But, I'm not complaining, because it's a list-maker's dream. Also, it really works for me because I can make a list and then see things checked off, then deleted. Just the affirmation I need that I've gotten a job done!

So, I thought I'd share with you my cleaning schedule that (basically) works for me. I've had to start a real cleaning schedule because our house is just too big for us. Even though we really don't need all of these rooms, we still seem to somehow mess them all up each week! (Ironic, because the reason our house was never clean before was because it was too small and I didn't have a place for everything to go!...hmm...maybe it's my fought and not the house's....oh well!) I'm not real legalistic about the schedule or anything. It does feel good, though, when I stay on some sort of schedule and don't have to clean the entire house on my day off!

Monday: clean family room, guest room, light laundry load
Tuesday: dark laundry load, water plants, iron clothes
Wednesday: clean lower bathroom, kitchen, dining room, white laundry load, plan menu, sort coupons
Thursday: vaccumn, clean living room, wash towels, grocery shopping
Friday: water plants, pay bills, file papers, clean upstairs
Saturday: clean kitchen, cars, collect trash

Whew! That list is making me tired. I really have to logically think through everything I do...it's just the way my brain works. :) I guess I'll just keep trying to perfect my schedule until we have children and I know it will probably all be up in the air!

As you see, today was ironing day, which has been happening during American Idol at night. As I was ironing tonight, I thought of something very ironic (!?). And that was...why do I actually take precious time ironing Justin's sleeve's on his shirts when they're all too short anyway, and he's just going to roll them up as soon as he puts the shirt on...hmm...something to remember next Tuesday night...

Sorry...I know the last thing any of you want to read about tonight is cleaning, but there's my post anyway!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


As promised...here's the video!

Our house is in the background, so you can see how close we actually are to the church!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A few weeks ago we discovered that Elkin has a beautiful park! We took Jazz on a ride around town looking for the park and couldn't believe how nice it is. Whenever we have kids, I can't wait to take them there and play! For now, I get to take Justin and Jazz and watch them play in the river. Jazz loves it! While I was at LifeLine training today, Justin took her and then when I got home he wanted to go again! (I hope God definitely has sons in the plan for us because Justin will love it!!) It is so relaxing to just drive a few miles down the road and feel that you're in a different part of the world...God's Creation is so amazing!

Check back tomorrow...I'll give you the EVBC video as promised :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

taking every thought captive...easier said than done!

2 Corinthians 10:3-6
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

These verses have intrigued me ever since discussing them in a women's bible study this past year. We looked at what exactly it means to "take every thought captive" and discussed how difficult this can truly be for each of us. Our minds were stirred when we began to define "taking every thought captive" by "thinking about every thought." This may seem redundant and even confusing, but to me, it makes a lot of sense, especially in conjunction with Philippians 4:8.

So often during the day, thoughts enter my head that are simply NOT TRUE. And every day I have to simply (yeah, right) think about every thought. Since working out and eating right is currently my big struggle, here's some of those untrue thoughts I deal with:

"If I don't eat this piece of cake now, I'll never get to enjoy it" - NOT TRUE, because even if I don't eat it now, it will still be there later...if I decide to eat it then.

"The waitress placed these hushpuppies here, I must eat them" - NOT TRUE, because no one is holding a gun to my head, making me eat them. (Dealt with this just tonight at dinner!!)

"If I go workout I won't have time to wash the dishes!" - NOT TRUE...just an excuse...odds are I'm not going to wash the dishes then, anyway!! Oh, my thoughts are deceiving!!

Ok, so these are corny examples, but the best I can think of right now. You get the picture, though. It is easier said that done to "take every thought captive" and think about "whatever is true." Especially those tiny, apparently unharmful thoughts. But God knew we needed practical passages like these to spur us into a greater relationship with Him.

Our lying thoughts can display themselves in so many ways. What thoughts do you need to continually take captive? For me, its usually thoughts of inadequacy when ministering to young pregnant women at work, thoughts of the food I just HAVE to have, thoughts of laziness when I need to be productive, etc, etc.

When looking at 2 Corinthians 10, we see that Paul is talking about spiritual warfare. I had to stop and think... am I applying this correctly in my life? Well, for me, when I am letting my fleshly desires for food and laziness rule my life, I am less than effective for God's kingdom. When I am struggling with these issues and relying on Christ to help me take every thought captive, I am then relying on His strength to help me overule my fleshly desires...desires that Satan can so easily (unfortunately) use to make me less effective in kingdom work.

One commentary puts it this way - "[Paul] took captive to the obedience of Christ every perception and intention of the heart that was against God. Our actions reveal our thoughts. We should not cling to thoughts that do not conform to the life and teachings of Christ. Paul did not walk according to the flesh or his worldly desires; instead he conquered the flesh. He explains his strategy in 1 Cor. 9:24-27: 'I discipline my body and bring it into subjection.'" (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary)
One word I am no good at - discipline. Another word I am obviously not so good at - obedience. Thankfully God is so patient with me! Thankfully I am not left to work through my struggles on my own! I want to be honest with you all. As God is working in my life, I hope to encourage you as well. I also feel that it keeps me more accountable to put things in writing.
As God helps me to be more disciplined in these areas of my life, I pray that He will allow me to serve Him in even larger areas...all for His glory!


Apparently my seminary days are still with me...I didn't mean to write you a paper!!

Oh, and even though we went to a seafood restaurant tonight where I would usually eat a "heart attack on a plate" dinner, I chose broiled flounder, side salad, and steamed veggies. Not one hush puppy touched my lips even though Justin made it very clear how unbelievably good they were! I must say, I felt much better than if I would have eaten an entired fried plate of food. One victory at a time :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

welcome home present

So after a wonderful day of work (honestly), I got home, walked in the door and realized that our dryer was running (it's right by our back door). I was confused for a few seconds...I knew that I (obviously) didn't have anything going in the dryer because I hadn't been home in 6 hours. Justin was at youth choir practice and I couldn't think of what he might have been drying. (Mostly because I don't think he knows how the dryer works!...haha...love ya, honey!).

So...I hesitantly opened the door and about fell over. There was a cat in there!

*Warning* If you are an EVBC member...this next part might spoil a Sunday surprise!...You may not want to read :)

Thankfully, it was not, I repeat, not a real cat.

As usual, being the music minister's wife, I have been well aware of what the plans are for this Sunday's service. They happen to include a promotional video for a great sermon series our pastor Johnny will be doing on Wednesday nights. (Can't tell you yet, though!!)

A new sermon series for Johnny equals hours of thinking, planning, and yes, scheming for Justin. Lucky me...I get to see and hear all of that for weeks as Justin runs ideas by me. Lucky for our congregation...Justin runs ideas by me so that they are not subjected to some (a lot!) of them. God has gifted Justin with an incredible sense of humor and great, crafty ideas to engage our congregation and encourage them toward participation (in my personal opinion). I guess He has also gifted me with a skepticism and just enough discernment to help look at the possible outcomes for some of his ideas and hopefully encourage or discourage ideas, accordingly. This time, thankfully I only ended up with a stuffed cat in my dryer. It could have been worse. You'll soon understand...

I promise I'll link you to the video for Sunday when it's been "released," but for now, you can be thankful with me that it was only a stuffed cat involved in this filming.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


So...I'm still kind of feeling out of the blogging world lately, but I wanted to share with you an update. I did join the gym yesterday after my free trial week was over. AND...I'm signed up for an entire year...no backing out. I had to go the cheaper (in the end) route and hopefully this will totally motivate me with the money already spent! And...here's an update on the puzzle if you're interested....somehow in the course of a week, it's completely done!!! (And I didn't even put a piece in!) Apparently some ladies are working a little too hard on the puzzle and not their workout. hmm... :) just kidding!

Here are some healthy accomplishments in my life lately!....
  • If you know me, this alone is incredible...I have not had any fried food in atleast 21 days (that's when I started counting)
  • I have worked out 5 of the last 7 days...good start!! :)
  • I have been making extremely better food choices lately...though not without my slip ups!
  • For the first time this season, I'm currently watching Biggest Loser knowing that I have actually worked out this week! Ha!

I have totally loved working out these last few days. I've already enjoyed getting to talk to some new women...I've even met some ladies from our church that I hadn't met yet. God is so good as He has given me the will to change this area of my life. We'll be at the beach in less than two months and now I have a wedding at the end of August...HUGE motivation!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm back...I think!

So...I've never been a gym member...not really my thing, I guess. :) How interesting that it quickly becomes "your thing" when you're 8 years out of high school, no longer playing sports (for the past 8 years), not walking around a college campus anymore, married and getting fat. Anyone there with me?? (please say yes!) Yes...I'm just plain getting fat. I know that can be a relative term...but I know it's true for me.

I know it's true because I have clothes in my closet that are four sizes smaller and haven't been worn for years. (I'm definitely holding on to the past!)

I know it's true because I get winded when walking the steps a few times in our house.

I know it's true because I somedays I'd rather wear Justin's gym shorts than squeeze into my own (sooo sad).

Anyways...you get the idea...it's time to face reality. Amazingly, God is so patient with me. My eating habits and lack of exercise are too often acts of flat out disobedience and definitely not respectful of this earthly body God has given me. Knowing this, I've prayed and prayed for God to help me eat well and have the discipline to get up and work out. He's given me the desire (which I know is definitely Him, not me). Now it's time to do my part and work along side the Holy Spirit's work in my life. No more being lazy.

This is where you come in. (Yes...you...reading this!) Help me...pray for me...ask me how the workouts are going...encourage me to eat well. I know you will because I know if you're reading this you care about me or atleast care about reading what I have to say. So...thanks for your support.


Now...to share the gym stories...

I haven't officially joined the gym yet. Last Friday started my free trial week and I plan to join after its over. I actually heard about this gym that is right down the road from our house from a sweet "Senior Saint" in our church. I wanted to check it out because its literally 30 seconds down the street if I drive...so I knew even I could get myself up to drive 30 seconds to a gym! (A minute might be pushing it! - sadly, I know my own nature).

I went last Thursday to checkout the facility, had a tour from a nice lady, but couldn't help noticing that everyone working out at the time as well as my tour guide was over 50. Not that I have a problem with older women, but I was starting to wonder if this was the place for me. I continued getting the tour...nice equipment...beautiful, feminine decor (it's a women's only gym)...friendly people...nice pitchers of water to enjoy...puzzle to work on while you cool down...nice locker room, you know...very modern. But...rewind..."puzzle to work on???" Yes...this is the moment that I seriously thought, "This might just be an old lady gym!" I mean, the only place I know that has puzzles laying out to work on is in the retirement home! I was seriously laughing inside and probably always will when I walk past the puzzle table!

I kept an open mind, however, and came in Friday for my first workout. Same old scenario...everyone was over 50 when I got there. Eventually, a few women in their 40's came in...I started to not feel so young. It honestly hadn't bothered me though, because the last thing I need for my self-esteem is a gorgeous 20 year old working out right beside me. I feel great when I'm surpassing the women around me (even if it's because they have back problems or something!)

Today was the first day I've gone back since last week. I just did not want to get out of bed before work on Monday and Tuesday. I am not a morning person in the first place so every day is a battle to get up without snoozing 10 times. Well, my workout today was great. AND there were some women there a lot closer to my age!! That excites me. One of the reasons I want to go to the gym is to meet some ladies in the community. Hopefully I can build some relationships while working out. Gotta bring as many positives to this workout scenario as I can!!

I look forward to working out more. I have felt great both days when I worked out. Working out always makes me more conscious about my food choices as well. Unfortunately, as the day goes by I start to be more slack about my choices. I've been trying not to eat after 8, which gets difficult when Justin doesn't eat until after choir practice on Wednesdays. So...we headed out to McDonald's tonight to get him some dinner. I was weak and had a Hot Fudge Sunday, but...surely it balances out since we walked there! Yes...that's right...I truely have too much temptation before me every day. McDonald's is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from our house. Honestly and sadly, my biggest weakness. I'm proud to announce however, that I have not had fried food in 15 days! Quite an accomplishment for me, the ultimate fry lover.

Anyways...I'm rambling...but hopefully giving you an idea of how desperately I need your prayers and encouragement. I know us women have to stick together!! Thanks for letting me be honest!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

a mess of thoughts

I still don't really have a desire to blog lately...weird...

Maybe it's because I'm not ready to admit how I want to join the gym down the road...although I have a free week, but can't seem to get myself out of bed to go work off this ever-increasing fat! I want to share funny stories about the gym...but really its just a sad portion of my life right now.
Maybe it's because I'm so heartbroken at the state of our world...as so many people are continually deceived by so many false teachers...click here to see what I mean.

Maybe it's because I'm a mess of emotions myself while also dealing with the emotions and struggles my clients are dealing with each week...don't quite know how to sort it all out.

Maybe it's because I know I need to be spending more time with the Lord than time reading everyone else's blogs...been so convicted about that lately...God's working this out in my life...so thankful for His patience!

Maybe it's because I'm again heartbroken to hear of a dear couple who became pregnant after waiting 7 years only to find out today that the baby's heart has stopped beating...while in the same minute reading that Planned Parenthood has now reached the billion dollar industry mark...

I can't help but cry tonight for the brokenness of a lost world while at the same time, surrounded by the confidence of God's amazing, beyond-my-comprehension sovereignty.

I pray that God will give me a huge understanding of how I can be used as His faithful servant to bring about change...even if just in the lives right around me.