Cotton Candy or Asparagus?

Sometimes...the Wii is off for extended periods of time. Sometimes...the phones and computers are off limits.  Sometimes...we don't watch movies.  And sometimes...ALL of these boundaries come into play at once. The result? PEACE. LAUGHTER...and a NEW APPETITE.

You see, as we feed ourselves, we develop an appetite for what we are eating. We even begin to crave it after a while. It is for this reason, we sometimes...take a break; fasting that which we have been feasting on in order to change our cravings.

At first, no one wants to eat differently.It's like choosing asparagus over cotton candy. But...after a while, the longing to hold on to mediocre is gone. Other interests have reappeared. Relationships are even deepened. Hearts have been turned and our appetites are changed.

It's not that I don't like the conveniences and luxury of TV, Wii, cell phones, computers...and so on. No!  It's that I want my family to have an appetite for the BEST not just the good. Who wouldn't rather have steak and lobster than a burger??? The burger is good, but the steak is better!

I was reading in Matthew 6 this morning and as I read vs. 22-24, I thought about training our appetites.

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single {clear}, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

The key to our appetite {our heart, our desire}...begins with the eyes.

What is the old adage? "Out of sight, out of mind." Just think for a moment...you decide to only drink water so you get rid of other beverages...just for a while. At first, you don't LOVE the water. You miss the soda or tea. Continue, and you find you can't get enough water. The more you drink, the more you want. You are actually craving the water! Other beverages are now occasional, but not what you now "have to" have. And when old cravings come around, we then have to weigh the efforts involved in acquiring that craving. Many times we just choose what we see in front of us.

When we put new options before our eyes and either make them beautiful or merely the only option available, we can easily turn our appetites from good to best. And then...when our appetite for the Best is well whet, we sprinkle back in the good stuff. It's about balance. It's about feasting our eyes on the Best so our soul begins to long for more.

Try it! This time of year, with all the festivities of the holidays is a perfect time! Turn off the TV, gaming console or computer and replace them with enticing options. Make some cookies, play some games, sing some Christmas song and just have fun. Let me know if you do...I'd love to hear what you and your family is hungry for now!



Stopping to Give Thanks

I am so thankful for so much! As this week begins, with a monster list, I have chosen to stop for a moment and remember all the things for which I am thankful! I have learned that it is a CHOICE to be made.

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice." Philippians 4:4

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"A thankful heart is a happy heart. I'm glad for what I have...that's and easy place to start." -Jr. Asapragus, Madame Blueberry VeggieTales

Instead of focusing on the list I need to accomplish over the next 2 days...here is my list of WHY I am thankful:
  • My God! Through Him I can do exceedingly abundantly MORE than I could hope or imagine, including my list. (Ephesians 3:20-21) He has a plan for MY life, and YOUR life, that is FAR beyond our imaginations. I am never alone. I can be filled with JOY even as things are falling apart around me. Peace is a salve that is readily applied even in chaos...because of HIS love for me.  Thankful doesn't say how I feel about the price Jesus paid for me on Calvary! Word cannot express my utter love for my Saviour.
  • My Hubby! LOVE him more everyday! I am thankful for the 23 years I've known him and the 20 years he's been my significant other. He is my knight in shining armour, my best friend and my soul mate. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. 
  • My Children! LOVE THEM!! I can't say enough how much joy they bring to me. There is so much I could say about their smiles, hugs, jokes and sweet conversations...but that would take a LONG time! I am truly blessed! Psalm 127:3
  • My HomeIt is a peaceful place to be. It's not the things that fill the walls that makes our house a home...it the people that fill it. The family and friends that pass through our doors every week just sharing life with us. Friends and Family...the door is ALWAYS open! Come on by!
  • Family & Friends. How God has woven deep friendships into our family structure is priceless.  We love one another...but more than that we LIKE one another! We also have precious families God has place in our lives. People who love Him and are seeking Him. People we can pray with and play with...share our hearts with. What a blessing! I love you all!
  • Church Body. As we gather each week...true community is experienced. CHURCH is not the building we meet in, or the programs we have...it's the LIFE we walk out together, arm in arm, as the hands and feet of Christ to those around us. I am thankful for body of Christ that I can come together with each week to worship, serve, and pray with. They are truly Lovers of Jesus that don't mind getting dirty when the need arises, that will pray, even at 3 o'clock in the morning, and fills their cups with the Word of God that they may testify of the HOPE that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15) Praise the Name of Jesus!!!

I know I could go on and on today! The fact that family and friends will be in and out my doors this week is so exciting to me. My list is NOT the most important thing this week. In all reality it WILL get done...it always does.  The most important thing is keeping in mind the end result...to be hospitable and peaceful and most of all...Thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving week to you all!



I Will...

"I will enter into his gates with thanksgiving in my heart! I will enter His courts with praise! I will say "This is the Day the Lord has made." I will rejoice for he has made me glad!"

These words from a song I sang as a child have been streaming through my head since last night.  The song is based on Psalms 100:4

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

This is a statement of resolve.  It's a choice.  It's my Spirit telling my Flesh...Be Thankful, Praise Him, Be Thankful to Him, Bless His name. The song says...I WILL...I WILL...I WILL.

As the list sounds off for Thanksgiving preparations with shouts of "Me First...Me First!" we mustn't forget to enter into the Presence of the Lord with Thanksgiving and Praise.  You will bless His name and He will give you Joy!

Intentional Living

Won't you share your Thanksgivings and Praises to the Lord and we will encourage one another;)



Creating A Balanced Life

What does you day look like?  Is it hurried and bustled?  Do you feel like you are burning the candle at both ends?  Has the week, month or even ayear passed and you are left wondering where the time went and what you have to show for it?

I know I feel this way at times...If you have children, you probably do, too.

As Mom's we often get caught in the whirlwind of activities. From play-dates to soccer practice and all of the extras that seems so important.  Before we know it we are sinking in the quicksand of our calendars and are desperately reaching for a branch so we can pull ourselves out.

A little revelation for you:

You OWN Your Calendar!

I know that may sound very basic to some of you, but to others...This is a light-bulb moment!

So many times we fill our calendars and our lives before we have taken the time to build the framework of our hearts and family.  This is were the problem occurs.

Our God is a God of order.  Just as he formed and filled the Earth, we too can form and fill our schedules and lives...without the sinking, drowning  burned out feelings  we created when we fill first. Look at the example God gave us in His word.  From the very beginning, there was a framework...then the filling of it.

● Day One = God created light, formed heavens & earth ● Day Four = Filled wit sun, moon and stars ● Day Two = God separates water and sky ● Day Five = Filled wit fish and birds ● Day Three = Formed land and vegetation ● Day Six = Filled wit animals and man Genesis 1 **

Sally Clarkson challenges moms to examine what is Good, Better or Best...remembering that choosing what is Good can rob you and your family of what is Best. When you look at activities from that perspective...it really makes choosing easier.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Lay your busy-ness before the Lord and ask for His wisdom.  He ALREADY knows the plan!  How wonderful is that?! Not only that, but His plans are for a Hope and a Future!  He never intended for His children to feel like they were spiraling out of control! In fact He tells us in His Word to

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Matthew 6:33 tells us to

"seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

When we seek the Lord first...everything lines up. It doesn't mean we won't be busy. No. But we won't feel like we are drowning in the quicksand of too many commitments.  We won't feel like we're "Missing It" as the Mom continually tells Peter in the movie Hook.

Now for a little practical application:

At Allume, Tricia Goyer challenged us to evaluate our week by writing down EVERYTHING we do in a week (including diaper changes and showers) then rate them 1-4.

  1. Everything you have to do: feeding the kids, homeschooling, getting dress, spend time with God.
  2. Things you should do: laundry and housecleaning, cook dinner, homework with kids
  3. Things you enjoy and are helpful: Bible study,exercise class, play dates, social media
  4. Things you do because you were afraid to say no, or because you wanted to look good or have you kids look good.

Now the fun part:  CUT ALL the 4's and as many of the 3's as you can!

Now...OWN your calendar

Start fresh...buy a new one...erase the old one and ask yourself some tough questions: What Is important? What lines up with your framework?

Remember, When you seek Him first,

"God will empower you to achieve His purposes" ~Tricia Goyer, Allume, 2012

I pray you will redeem your time. I pray you will take back your calendars and in turn take back the Life that God has planned and carved out for you and your family.Be Intentional to Pursue God about the busy-ness in your life.  He is faithful and will guide you to the place He has for you.

**A Tricia Goyer Presentation Slide