Thursday, January 17, 2013

40 Meaningful Things....

After spending 10 days in California this past November with my sweet Grandmother, I was able to be refreshed and rejuvenated, which was much needed and long overdue.  I didn't realize how important it was for me as a mother and wife, to have time to myself to be refreshed.  It was the first trip that I had taken away from my four beautiful children and sweet hubby since we married in 1996.  During this time away, I was able to spend most of my evenings in the quiet and I spent a lot of much needed time with my Lord.  When I came home from this trip, I felt so different in a way that I never expected.  All of the worries that I carried day to day, didn't seem to bother me when I returned home.  Something else that touched me during my trip was that I was able to reconnect with two old friends.  One of the friends I hadn't seen since 1995, which was also the year my hubby and I met.  Neither one of us was married at that point.  But many things have changed now, because we are both married and have 4 children.  It was so great to sit and reconnect for 5-6 hours, as if no time had passed.  It was the two friends that I reconnected with, which showed me how important friends really are in our lives.        

In the last week or so, we started back to homeschooling.  It was really nice having the break during the Christmas season, but once again some of my overwhelmed feelings have returned.  After reading a post on Facebook a few days ago, from Kristi, who was an old friend in high school, I became inspired.  The post was about 40 Meaningful Things.  Kristi posted that she wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday by doing 40 Meaningful Things for herself.  Because I too will be celebrating my 40th birthday in March, I decided that I really wanted to adopt this idea into my own life.  

As moms and wives (and some even carrying weight at jobs outside of the home), it is so easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed with taking care of everyone else's activities and needs that we forget that we have needs also.  I was inspired by this Facebook post, because I feel that 40 Meaningful Things is a way to reconnect with our inner self.  We can really take the time to think about.....what is important in our lives?  Who is important in our lives?  Are there people that you have lost contact with that you would like to reconnect with?  Are there things that you have dreamed of doing some day....but the day has never come?  Well, the time is NOW.  We aren't getting any younger and if we continue to wait for the best opportunity.....we may miss the blessings that would come from embracing the HERE and NOW.  Are you willing to pass up this opportunity?  Or will you stop and take time for yourself, to rediscover who you are and what things are meaningful to you?  It doesn't really matter whether you are going to be 40 or not...or even if you are already 40, what matters is to take time to reconnect with WHO YOU ARE. 

The following list are some of the ideas that were posted as comments on Kristi's post.  Thank you to everyone that gave ideas!  Here are some of the ideas that were posted: piano lessons, travel somewhere, quality time with friends, write a book, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, windsurf, start a foundation, do something life changing for someone else, take a dance class, read 40 good books, exercise hard and build great muscle tone, visit family, second honeymoon, quality time with kids, sky diving or scuba diving, take a bubble bath, 40 random acts of kindness, oyster shooting, full massage, and mom & daughter weekend.  This list is not complete, but it was many of the ideas that were given.    

Here are some of the ideas for the 40 Meaningful Things that I came up with:  Be more intentional with friends, reconnect with old friends, have a regular date night with hubby, spend meaningful time with each of my kiddos, make an exercise routine schedule, forgive someone that has hurt me & reconnect, guitar lessons, write a book, pick a night each week to spend a few hours doing what I enjoy(writing, crafts, reading, etc.), random acts of kindness, write a love song, be more intentional about sharing my faith, make a quilt, try a new supper recipe each week,  pick one day a month to get together with friends to do a fun activity/craft, finish projects that are started, finish books that are started, try new foods, go on a cruise, take a honeymoon, bible study with some girl friends, be encouraging to others, blog at least weekly, be a blessing to others, a gratefulness journal, inspire my kids more to learn, take part in another half marathon, be better about acknowledging family & friends birthdays, and give God the credit for every blessing in my life.    

The lists above are meant to help inspire you, but these lists are in no way complete.  I am hoping that after you read this post, you would add at least one 'meaningful thing' to the comments below.  After talking with Kristi about her post, she expressed that the whole idea behind the 40 Meaningful Things is that it will turn into a lifestyle of capturing those important things and not just a one time event.  How great would it be if everyone took the time to reflect on things that are meaningful and enjoy life, instead of letting it pass by without experiencing the JOY that is truly possible!  Life is busy, but it is also extremely precious!  We are never promised tomorrow.  Don't wait until something drastic happens that opens your eyes to what is important.  Enjoy each day for what it brings and reflect on those moments that are meaningful in your life!  May God bless you as you seek to discover what is meaningful in your own life!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

from Fatherless to Heavenly

Do we expect too much from our husbands?  I think that is a question that many women contemplate at some point in their marriages.  Did you lose your father at a young age?  Did you have a father that wasn't even around?  Well, a father plays a huge role in a young girl's life.  Maybe you were fortunate enough to have an uncle or a cousin, or even a big brother who helped to fill in that missing role.  If not, than like many other are not alone.  So many young girls don't experience the things that a father can contribute to their life.  I am no exception to this.  I know from personal experience that not having a father in your life can cause you to seek that from others, especially your husband.  Most days, not having a father in my life is like any other day. But some days, it just hits me like a ton of happens to be one of those days.  

Is it really fair to expect our husbands to fill this missing role?  I'm not really sure it is.  Our husbands are called to be our providers and to be our best friends, but I don't think they should be responsible for being a father figure also.  This is really tough for most women that haven't experienced a father.  Unfortunately, there really isn't a simple answer.  So what do you do when you don't have anyone filling this role??  Well, first and should seek God, our Heavenly Father.  In Deuteronomy 33:12 it says, "Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders."  He loves each of us so much and God truly is the only one that can fill any missing roles in our lives.  Sometimes, filling a human role with God will seem difficult....but I know from personal is truly possible.  Some days you will probably still struggle...but that is because of what the world tells us.  God can and will provide the love and support and encouragement you may need...if only you seek Him first and foremost.

Here is a song that has helped me get through many days when I felt this hole the most, which in turn led me to believe untruths about myself and my life.  It is called My Beloved by Kari Jobe.  I hope you enjoy it!  


Monday, January 7, 2013

Beautifully Broken

Last night, I finished the book, "Your Heart's Desire" by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  There is something about this book that touched my heart so deeply.  I would highly recommend this book to all women whether you are married, single, divorced, or widowed.  Sheri Rose Shepherd is also the author of the Princess Series and has daily devotions called His Princess Love Letters.  I receive His Princess Love Letters everyday by email and they absolutely speak to my heart most days.  If you have had struggles in your life and you have a hard time believing God's truth about you and your really should check out and sign up to receive the His Princess Love Letters here. 

After I finished the book, I felt led to write a song.  Writing songs is one of the ways that I am able to find harmony in my life.  The song I wrote last night is called "Beautifully Broken", which basically talks about what God is doing in my life and the ways that he has changed and healed me.  Writing songs is something that I have done a lot of in the last few years, but this song is different.  Usually, I am able to find a tune that I think is fitting for my lyrics just by plucking around on my keyboard......but it just wasn't happening with this song.  So, tonight I did the one thing that I have never done or even tried to do.....I pulled out my guitar.  Well, actually it was my dad's guitar that I inherited in 1996.  So many times, I have tried over the years to teach myself to play and I am able to play a few chords here and there...but nothing spectacular.  I had pretty much given up on playing the guitar, because my hands are pretty small and it just didn't seem like a good fit.  And buying a smaller guitar...really isn't an option at this point.  Since, I had struggled so much with coming up with a tune for my new lyrics....I decided it couldn't hurt to break out the guitar.  And as I sat here, something amazing happened.  After ear tuning it to my keyboard (which I've never been able to do before)....I started messing around.  And the strangest thing happened.....I found a melody.  I honestly don't really even know what chords I was playing....but I was playing something....because my ears were pleased.  And then I started to cry, because God just amazes many times that I have pulled out the guitar and tried to play something....and nothing happened.  But, yet this time....I have it out for less than 5 minutes and there it is.....a melody.  I know this probably all seems really trivial. To be quite honest, I'm not even sure why I'm writing this down....except that I want my blog to document my life as it happens.  I especially want to look back and remember those amazing moments....when I am in complete AWE of this amazing God that we serve!      

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams...

Welcome to 2013!  We have arrived at the beginning of yet another year, and it is time once again to make some new resolutions/goals for the year.  Have you taken time lately to think about what your dreams, aspirations or goals for the new year might be?  Well, now is the best time to do this!  EVERYONE has dreams....whether they are bigger or small, really only depends on how much you allow yourself to imagine the changes or possibilities for your life.  If you haven't taken the time in the last few years or maybe even ever, why don't you take the next few days to contemplate and think about what dreams that God has placed in your heart.  As you take the time to think about what is in your heart, please remember and know that God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has great plans for our life.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  God wants what is best for us.  We may think that we know what that is, but from the experiences I've had......that usually isn't the case.

As we start the new year, I'd like to take time to share some of my hopes and dreams.  This new blog that you are seeing today is going to be about things that are very near and dear to my heart and that I feel very passionate about.  Here are some of the key topics that you will find on my new blog:  Homemaking, Homeschooling, Healthy Living, Healing, Hope and How to find Harmony in Life.  Obviously, this is a wide range of topics, but these are all things that I am very passionate about.

All dreams are important, even if they may seem trivial.  Sometimes, we run from our dreams...but that isn't the best thing to do either.  God places hopes and dreams in us for a reason.  We are supposed to embrace them and trust that in God's perfect time they will be fulfilled.  Dreams don't always come to pass the way that we imagine they will, but from my experience the way God has them planned out is far better than what we can imagine.  In a book that I'm reading called, Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst it talks about how important it is that we share our hopes and dreams with our spouse.  Being sensitive to the dreams our spouse has and helping them fulfill their dreams, is so important in helping them to be secure.  Many times it can be difficult for our husbands to share their dreams, but it can help to change your marriage when we share dreams and hopes that are so deep in our hearts.  When couples share their dreams and have common goals, it can create an amazing union which can help their future together.

As a way to help each member of my family take time to realize their dreams, I created a dream jar for each of my children and one for my spouse and myself to share.  I found this idea on pinterest, but I changed and added to the suggestions to make it my own.  It was really a very simple idea, but the benefits of knowing and being aware of each others dreams is really important.  It would be so easy to say or do something that would make dreams seem impossible or not important.  I know, because I felt this way for 30 some years.  I want to help my children hold onto the dreams, hopes and passions that God has placed in their hearts.  This is why I created the dream jars.

A Dream is a wish that your heart makes.  Will you take time to listen to your heart?  Will you allow yourself to dream?  You will never know if your dreams are reachable....if you never take the time to share your dreams.  Keeping your dreams in your heart is fine, but trust me....if I would have known that my dreams weren't unreachable....I wouldn't have run from them for 30+ years.  Share your hopes and dreams with those that you love.  Talk about them, pray about them, but don't pretend that they don't exist.  "May he grant all your heart's desires and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4


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