Thursday, December 25, 2014

The true meaning of Christmas and how to deal with the excess

As the time of year rolls around, and the ‘things’ start to roll in with it (as they inevitably do), it’s easy to get bogged down in it all. It’s a time of excess. 

Part of that excess (the celebration, the feasting, the parties, the merriment) is very much in line with what I believe to be true about this Advent season as a Christian. Christmas is a time for GREAT celebration! And how do we celebrate? We feast! We throw parties! We eat delicious food! We give each other gifts! This celebration is a great way to celebrate the birth of our Savior! And I’m all for it.

This wonderful gift-giving ‘standard’ makes it easy and fair. 4 presents each. Always. 

I wish I would have read about this a long time ago when Wyatt was young. This tradition would have made Christmas much more enjoyable and must less stressfull and worrisome on which gift to get, how much to spend, will they like it, will they appreciate it, will they understand my thoguhtfullness that went into the chosing of that special gift. 

1. Something you want

2. Something you need
3. Something to wear
4. Something to read

There will inevitably be messy moments. At Christmas time. At every time. But I’m thankful to feel so at peace with our small Christmas. To be thankful for the blessings of each day rather than the gigantic presents under the Christmas tree. And to be focusing on the birth of our Savior, our King, our Messiah, rather than the hottest toy, the gigantic dinner menu, or the 72 social obligations that popped up this month. 

Merry Christmas All and many blessings for the New Year. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One Word for 2014

My word for 2014 is: PURPOSE

pur·pose n.
1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal.

2. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.
3. Determination; resolution.
4. The matter at hand; the point at issue.
5. To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.

Idioms: Intentionally; deliberately. with good results.

I love this quote from poet Robert Byrne. So simple and to the point. I was grateful for the subtle message from God as I read this quote.  It made such terribly simple sense to me.  And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

My own personal goal for 2014 is to be purposeful in everything I do as a daughter, mother, and friend.  I find how easy it is to get bogged down with tasks and things that don’t mean anything.  That leaves me feeling empty and entirely unsatisfied with the life I’m living.  I don’t like that.

I want to be meaningful in my interactions with others.  I want to make each interaction count.  I want people to know they have meaning in my life, and I want to be purposeful by showing love and serving them.
I want to be deliberate in my mothering.  Making sure I am communicating knowledge to my child and helping direct his inner compasses.  I want to be purposeful in teaching himm and strengthening his soul.
I want to be organized. I want my personal and family systems to be deliberate and focused.  I don’t want to spend unnecessary time looking for things.
And I want to be able to look at everything in my home and know it’s purpose.  And if it doesn't have a purpose, I want to free myself of it.  And be perfectly fine with not having anything ”meaningless” to replace it with.
These are just a few ways I want to live my 2014.
As so many of us look for meaning in the 365 days that make up each year, I think we’d do ourselves a favor if we considered the purpose to everything we do.  What a gift that would be for ourselves and our families.
May the coming year be filled with meaningful, purposeful interactions and experiences.

Exodus 9:16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Job 36:5  God is mighty, but despises no one;  he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire     and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Jeremiah 32:19 great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Life Evaluation~The Next Steps for Transformation and Happiness

I want to preface this blog with saying I Love my simple little life.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be rich, live in a huge home, go on expensive vacations to far away places, drive an expensive car or have a 6 figure job but the fact that I am happy and content out shines all those things. And that is just what they are things, they are not needed for my happiness or my son's happiness.

I have made the decision to simplify my life and not stress out if I don't keep up with the "Jones'".

Keeping all the clutter of life out of my life makes me happy and content and Wyatt will benefit from this way of life also.

Part of this  renovation of my life starts with my diet and exercise plan. I made the decision to not renew my gym membership. The stress I felt by making sure to get to the gym on a schedule drove me crazy. I will, when I can afford it invest in a Tabata DVD, which I love, a Zumba DVD, a kettle bell DVD with kettle bells and also a yoga DVD to do at home on my own schedule. No pressure to fit in to a set routine.

I have weight to lose but I am going to no longer stress about it and I will lose it in my own time. I am not 24 anymore, things don't come easy especially losing weight. If I am happy with my body then everyone around me needs to be too and if not I do not need you in my life.  I am taking ownership of myself and my weight and could careless what others think unless it is encouragement and support.  My son thinks I am beautiful and that is all that matters to me.

The change in my diet is actually the easiest change for me to make.  I do not have any associations with food. I eat because we need to eat to survive. I am in the minority I think but I do not have cravings. I don't sit around and say I am craving sweets, salty, or any other foods. This is a blessing for me but it makes it hard to when friends want to go out to eat because I really don't care where we go because I can find something on every menu that I like and enjoy. The reason I got out to eat is to be with friends and enjoy their company not to be picky on the food we choose to eat.

I have eliminated all processed foods from my and Wyatt's diet. That includes refined sugar. I also have made the decision to eliminate red meat from my diet since my body does not process it well any more and I get stomach issues when I eat it. Wyatt still eats red meat and loves it. I do not like chicken much so my protein consists of fish or other forms of protein like beans and legumes. A pro-biotic is also part of my dietary regimen, it helps my stomach issues.

I am blessed to have the life I do. Like I said it is simple and I choose for it to be. I have an amazing son who is the light of my life. He is kind, gracious, generous and growing up to be a wonderful young man.

I have saved money for his college education and beyond so he should have a wonderful start to his life as an adult and not have to struggle like I have had too. I want the best for my son and to not have him worry about a thing.  His happiness is my happiness.

I would love to find a man to spend the rest of my life with. That man must be able to love me as I am and also respect and love my son as I would if he had children. He also must be a man of faith and be willing to travel that path with me. He must be strong, assertive, generous, funny, and loving. Those are hard qualities to find these days and I know I am asking a lot. I am happy being alone but I would love to share my love with someone and get married again.

Now being single and not married has is highs and lows. High, a super clean bathroom, toilet seat down and no socks on the floor. Low, a super clean bathroom, I miss the smell of Irish Spring and shaving cream. High, a super clean kitchen, no stray plates hidden in places plates and dishes don't belong. Low, a super clean kitchen, doing dishes for two and only cooking for two makes me sad at times. High, doing laundry for only two people. Low, doing laundry for only two people, I miss seeing men's clothes in my closet. High, going places alone, I am always on time. Low, going places alone, it is lonely and at times I feel like a 3rd wheel. These are times I usually stay home instead. Hanging out with Wyatt is the best in the world. There are so many more but I would have to say that the ones above are some of the things I miss the most. 

Life takes work and nothing is handed to you on a silver platter. I will make mistakes, face challenges, get frustrated but I know that all of those things make me a better person and a better mom.

I am reminded of a bible verse, 2 Kings 3:16-20
While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands. 19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”
20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water. 

Translation: we have to dig a lot of ditches to make things happen. Things will not just fall into our laps because we want them to or wish for them. We need to make our own destiny and take our path in our own hands and we will be rewarded for our efforts.  Pastor Steven Furtick says it best below:
  • We can position ourselves, learn and get training, but only God can make it rain.
  • After we’ve done all that we can do, we have to remember that only God can send favor, mercy, salvation, and healing.
  • If you want to see the land filled with water, dig some ditches.
  • Dig ditches in preparation for how God wants to use your life.
  • You may not see rain or even see clouds, but don’t wait to get to work until you see the evidence of God’s blessing.
  • Faith believes it before it sees it.
  • Pray for God to start a groundswell.
  • Don’t let time talk you out of your dreams.
  • Life can beat the audacity out of you.
  • God is not done with you yet.
  • Do it or die trying.
  • True faith has a bit of ambiguity to it.
  • No leader is ever 100% sure that they’ve heard from God.
  • Keep digging ditches.
  • One of the reasons we struggle with insecurity is because we are comparing our behind-the-scenes with others highlight reels.
  • If you will dig the ditches God will send the rain.
  • If you will do what you can do God will do what only He can do.
  • Sometimes it doesn’t seem like anything is happening, but you don’t know what God is doing behind-the-scenes.
  • Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.
  • Expect God to do great things through your life.
  • Don’t dig one ditch… make the valley full.
  • Noah looked stupid building a boat until it started to rain.
  • When the vision you see around you doesn’t match what God has spoken to you, you’ve got to close your eyes and hold on to what you’ve heard.
  • Be a ditch-digger.
  • Believe for God to do great things.
I hold my faith very close to my heart and I may be made fun of, which has happened to me a lot in my life actually but there are things I have been through that some know and some don't know about me that only my faith was able to get me through. My trust in God, prayer and the bible is a huge part of my life and will continue to be. I am also proud to say that Wyatt is an amazing young Christian who will be able to make great decisions while holding on to his faith. 

The long and short of it is I am taking my life back, getting healthy, happy and full of faith for the long road ahead of me. Don't get me wrong I have plenty of self doubt, pity party moments and poor me moments but when they pass I truly love my simple little life.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recipes that make me happy~

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad~My favorite thing at The Mad Hatter Tea Room in Anoka, MN

2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
finely chopped green pepper, to taste
finely chopped onion, to taste
1 - 2 tsp Mad Hatter Spice, to taste*
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together. This is best made 1 day in advance.
*Mad Hatter Spice is available at The Mad Hatter, 1 oz. $4.00

I have eaten this alone in a pretty bowl with no bread, put it on flat bread but the croissant is the best vessel if you want a bread component. So buttery and compliments the chicken sald so well. Happy eating!!! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A tough pill to swallow

Forgiveness is a hard concept for some of us to comprehend. We have people who have done us wrong, our loved ones or others around us and our nature is to hate them, be mad at them and wish them the worst life has to offer. 

Forgiveness is free but trust is earned. When you forgive someone it is not a free pass for them to think that life is all back to normal now. They too need to work at rebuilding the relationship if that is what they want or if you allow the relationship to begin again and if not then your forgiveness will allow you to move on with a clear conscience and live a full and happy life. 

Jesus tells us that in Romans 12:19-21 "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

This is an idea that can be foreign to us when we are wronged by someone we trust. Also, giving the person who has caused us pain food, drink, and love can be a hard pill to swallow. This idea follows the old adage "kill them with kindness". It is not our place to be judge, jury and executioner against someone who has done us wrong.

I struggle with forgiveness on a daily basis when it comes to my ex husband. Resentment, dislike, jealousy, & sadness over take my daily life on many occasions. I resent what happened in our failed marriage, I dislike him for the manipulation he used against me and my family, jealous that he is able to move on, start a new relationship and will be getting married again soon, and sadness for my son that he does not have two loving parents who are together.  I struggle with these issues every day. At times it makes me depressed, sad, lonely, fearful and at times that I am useless.

Another Bible verse that really speaks to me is Matthew 18:21-22 "Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven. 

Forgiveness will not come easy, it will not be quick or happen over night. You have to work at it every day if you truly want to have forgiveness. 

Bob, my Pastor, put forgiveness in a new light for me and it has helped me considerably but I know that I am a work in progress and if I am to move on, be happy, love again and be there as a whole person for my son I need to successfully forgive and not regret it one bit.   

  • Forgiveness isn't about setting the other person free, it is about setting YOU free.
  • Forgiveness is a PROCESS
  • Forgiveness is a CHOICE
  • You will never FEEL like forgiving someone
Again, as I said forgiveness will not be easy but it is not worth my life, love, or my sons life to hold on to old baggage that is only going to cause me harm in the long run. Harm to my emotional well being, my ability to love again, my physical health, my career goals. It will affect my entire life it I let it.

A wise woman told me today that hate and being able to not forgive is like a weed that grows inside you. It festers, takes root and will grow uncontrollably until it takes over your life and it will sap you of everything you love and care about.

I am a work in progress but I will make a promise to myself to work on this task like I work on other important tasks in my life, with all the faith, trust, love and frustration that comes along with accomplishing any thing huge and life changing!