Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nativity Story, part 2

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 

Matthew 1:18-21 (ESV)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Nativity Story, part 1

[Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat]

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

(Luke 1:46-55 ESV)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

livin' on cruise control

I got in the car today and headed to the next town, but something just wasn't right.  My car didn't want to stay at the same speed today, it just kept slowing down.  I'd speed up again and set my cruise control, only to have the car slowing down again.  Then I realized what was wrong.  My cruise control wasn't working.  I tried at least 5 more times to get it to work, but as much as I wanted it to, something was just not right.

Pretty much anytime I'm driving on the interstate, I set my car on cruise control.  Even if it's just for a few miles, it's become somewhat of a habit.  I set the car on cruise and just relax my foot for the drive.  Too often I find myself just letting my brain go on cruise control as well and that's when the problem starts.

I remember the last time I was pulled over was on a Sunday morning.  Yes.  It was about a year ago and I was taking the very familiar drive to church, about to turn on the interstate when I saw the flashing lights.  And it felt as though my heart just stopped.  And when it started again I realized I had been completely lost in my thoughts, just letting the car drive me to my destination.

Bad things happen when we just let ourselves mentally "coast" while driving and in life.  Thankfully, that morning, the "bad thing" became a good thing because it came in the form of a warning.

If you were to look up cruise control on wikipedia,  here's the "definition": 

Cruise control (sometimes known as speed control or autocruise) is a system that automatically controls the speed of a motor vehicle. The system takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed as set by the driver.

Yes.  This is just a definition about a device, but I think the key is how something else "takes over" the course that the driver has set.  When I use cruise control, my foot is essentially not in control of the speed of the car for as long as I let the cruise control it.  

It's funny because I really use cruise control to keep me out of trouble by keeping my speed in check.  But when I let my mind wander, there's where the problem comes in.

And this is what I was thinking about today...when I was jolted by the fact that my usual way wasn't working...for too long I have been on cruise control spiritually.  We were never meant to cruise through life without consideration.  In fact, we are warned in 1 Peter 5:8 to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  

For me, I'm realizing now how I have been on cruise control in several areas of my life.  Food is a big one.  So now, I'm having to be on extra alert to make changes that would have been more apparent had I been watchful for the enemy trying to fill me with physical pleasures instead of the spiritual pleasures I was made for.  I can tell this is going to be a tough journey because cruise control has become my norm.

So as you pray for me, I will be praying for you. What areas of your life have you placed on cruise control?  Together, let's be watchful of how the enemy is seeking to devour areas of our lives that belong to God!  I'm right there beside you trying to keep my foot on the pedal...or better yet...letting God take control.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

mid week momfessions!

My momfession this week is...I want my child to be organized!

And he seems to be jumping on board...I love it!  When I thought Elijah was playing with his trains in his room this morning he was actually organizing his train accessories and his cars.  Reason #3498 why I love that kid!

Mom disclaimer...I actually did not teach him to do this...

Have a "momfession" of your own?  Join in at my friend Sheila's blog!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One down...

To tell you the truth, I'm not doing so well with my goals for this year.  And yes, I know it's only the 13th of January.  At least since it is the 13th of January I still have hope for the rest of the year.  It's as if I wrote down these goals and every lazy bone in my body (all of them) decided to kick into full gear.  Ugh.

BUT...I have completed one goal!  We went to a great concert Sunday night.  Justin and I had talked about going to Winter Jam and I'm so glad we did.  We paid extra for VIP open seating and ended up on the FRONT ROW!  It was just so great to be out with my husband for a night...enjoying time together and worshiping beside him.  I love that he's a worship pastor, but I do miss getting to sing beside him in church sometimes. are some pictures we got at the concert.  *Spoiler Alert* if you're planning to go to Winter Jam this year!

Chris Sligh

Chris August

Sidewalk Prophets



Francesca Battistelli

David Crowder Band

Us waiting on the final two groups!


Very genuine group...loved them!

Michael Tate of the Newsboys

Newsboys drummer...hilarious!

I felt kind of old hearing some of my favorite Newsboys songs from "back in the day" that not too many people around us seemed to know!  But at the same time...going to great concerts makes me feel younger....It was a great concert and time of worship!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Being Intentional

Investing time purposefully 
iN order 
To be 
that God
iNtended for me to be! 
This takes planning, sacrificing my desires, and being 
Interested in the things that really matter each day.  I can 
Only do this with God's power at work within me.  
Nothing I do in my own strength has ever helped me to 
Accomplish being intentional in the things that are most important in my 

Heavenly Father, you know that I desire to live with intentionality and quit only having good intentions in every area of my life.  Help me to rely on your strength each day, taking one day at a time to intentionally accomplish what You have placed before me to do.  You are so patient with me and I'm humbled again and again that You will even allow me to be a part of Your great plan in people's lives.  Help me to make my life matter for your kingdom by living intentionally with your purpose each day.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Phillipians 4:4-9

Here is the first passage I am starting to memorize this year.  Feel free to join in and let me know that you are working on memorizing scripture as well!  These are some of my favorite verses to use in counseling, so I decided to start here.

[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
[8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 
(Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011!

I'm sad that the 2010 Christmas season is over because I think it was one of my favorites.  Our family enjoyed witnessing Elijah's first glimpse of the live nativity at our church, Justin and I got to lead the music at our first ever church Christmas Eve service, Christmas presents for our little man mostly involved trains and the names Thomas...and Emily...and James...and Henry....and Edward...(if you know what I mean!) and we were blessed by a sweet time of worship at our home with some musician friends and their families which we hope will be a first annual tradition.  I'm blown away by God's goodness in our lives in 2010 and I really could enjoy another month just like our December was.  

BUT I'm ready for 2011 as well.  I'm entering this new year with great expectations for what God has planned for our family and how He can help me to reach some lofty goals I have set for myself!  I want to share my goals with you for this year. I feel like they have been constantly on my mind, so I'm ready to get them in print and hit the ground running.  Please join me in praying that we become the women (and men) God wants us to be in this new year.  If any of these goals are similar to mine, let me know and we can check in on one another!

Personal Goals...
  • Memorize 30 scripture passages
  • Read every chapter in the Bible (though not necessarily in order because I have failed at that so many times)
  • Read 10 books (that I already own but haven't read)
  • Establish a consistent morning routine (exercise, prayer, reading God's word)
  • Establish a consistent nighttime routine (cleaning up the house, early bedtime)
  • Stop biting my fingernails
  • Go to a concert (or two!)
  • Merge this blog and my family blog (look for this in the near future!)
  • Establish consistent hours for counseling
  • Create monthly goals to accomplish as well
Household goals...
  • Not be embarrassed when anyone shows up unexpectedly (keep the house presentable!)
  • Find 2 more ways to be a little more green - and start doing it
  • Save for a new dining room table and chandelier (quit just wishing they would appear!)
Family goals...
  • Intentionally have guests over 2 times a month
  • Look for or make items to use for our Jesse Tree/Advent Calendar
  • Read Elijah's new Bible with him each day before breakfast and watch the DVD
  • Have many more times of family worship in 2011 than we did in 2010
If you are making your own goals this year, I'd love to hear about them! Also, feel free to print out a goals worksheet here.  This is what I plan to laminate (with my laminator I got for Christmas!!) and put on my bathroom mirror for daily reminders of what I would like to accomplish this year.

Happy New Year!