Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Goals Update

Hello my Bloggy

So at the beginning of the month I decided to set 10 Goals to keep me motivated in the month of September.  It was the first time I had ever tried something like that........and it didn't go so great.

Here was the List as a refresher. Updates are added in BOLD
1. Continue reading through the New Testament in the Message. At LEAST one chapter every day with breakfast. I was 3/4 way through Luke. I have probably only missed 3 days. I went from Luke to Acts, back to John and have been reading slowly Romans. Romans is simply fascinating in the Message!

2. Finish 5 books. I read 3 and am 47% through my fourth. This one bums me out; I love reading and wish this had come easier this month

3. Continue meal planning to work out a system that works best for Hubby and I. I would say that this one is accomplished. We sit down every Sunday night and write out meals for the week and assemble the grocery list. We write it on a whiteboard that we keep on the fridge.

4. Continue Bible verse memorization. I actually slacked off on this one :(( I kept the same verses, Lamentations 3:21-23, for several weeks. I am marking it off today and setting a brand new one for next week. Back on the bandwagon!

5. Start adding a 10 minute work out routine to my mornings. Yeah...didn't do this one at all. I just started adding a leg workout just this week. I have done it 3x with a walk on a fourth day. 

6. "Ground" Husband at least once every other week if need be for some US time. Didn't accomplish this one either. It would be great, but it involves having Hubby on board and he doesn't really keep an open schedule!! 

7. Organize desk space.  I didn't actually organize it yet, but I did have it cleaned and cleared off several times. Doesn't that count??

8. Work on upstairs living space to make more 'homey'. We did! We bought another 5-shelf bookshelf and discovered that our previous plan wouldn't work. Hubby drafted up a new plan idea. Now we just need to sit down and finalize the new idea. And find a chair(s) that we both like and can afford!!

9. Complete ONE Pinterest craft! I will call this one also accomplished. I didn't actually make a Pinterest CRAFT, but I did try a new cookie recipe! I will share that delicious-ness later this week. I do also have an easy artwork craft I found on Pinterest scheduled for later this week. 

10. Stay on top of cheerleading projects and 'to-do'. This one has been hard for me as well. Seems like every single day brings up yet another thing to do, person to email, or message to send out. Sheesh! My calender is getting booked with just cheerleading! Two things I should have accomplished by now, I still have yet to do. Boo. 

So......four and a half accomplished?? Bummer. Not the greatest way to start off goal setting each month. I am not planning on giving up though. For October I am hoping to set more specific goals and learn from what I did this past month. I am also thinking I will use my Fall Bucket List as a guide. I am setting my October goals tonight hopefully and sharing them with you soon!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Bucket List!

Hey Bloggy World!

I created a Fall Bucket List today! I am planning on adding it to my Christmas Planner for easy reference. With a baby on the way right before Thanksgiving, I am trying to make sure that I stay on top of all Holiday planning NOW. Any Thanksgiving Day craft or project is getting scheduled now and will probably be completed in the month of October. I know once that baby arrives I won't have the time or energy to be thinking about the Holidays, but I also don't want to add any more stress to my life by leaving all planning right until the end! I decided to make a Fall Bucket List to make sure that I am also slowing down and enjoying this time of year, my last Baby-Free Fall.

Here I will share my short list with you, BUT! I also wanted to share a free resource I found while hopping around the Web. I found a place called Design Finch and he offers a Fall Bucket List template that you can customize and then print off. Click here to check it out. I can often times find printable bucket lists around Pinterest and such, but often times they have stuff on there I don't really care for, so I was super excited to find one where I could add my own items!

So here it is, My Fall Bucket List::

  • Host a Soup Potluck
  • Decorate Pumpkins
  • Visit an Apple Orchard
  • Buy apple donuts!!
  • Drink Hot Chocolate
  • Start a Gratitude Journal
  • Eat a caramel apple
  • Create a shoe box for Samaritan's Purse
  • Make crockpot applesauce

These are items that will help me slow down and focus on the season. What would you include on your Fall Bucket List??

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 Peter 4:9 Failure

Hello Bloggy McBloggers,

A few posts back now I shared that I had taken a spiritual gifts assessment with my husband and we discovered that hospitality was pretty high for the both of us. While conducting a Biblical study on hospitality, I stumbled upon one of the more 'popular' hospitality Bible verses:

"Offer hospitality to one another with out grumbling"
1 Peter 4:9

Let me confess that I was instantly convicted:

Just a week before taking the test, I had my 14 year old sister-in-law staying at our house. Her parents are going through a crazy, drawn-out divorce and the stress was really getting to her. Hubby and I offered to let her live at our place for as long as she needed. I really didn't mind, I knew I wouldn't be home much anyways because I was swamped under work and cheerleading and she is perfectly capable of using the Netflix remote. 

Little did I know the stress I was inviting into my life. Because she was here, so was her father. He was doing what a good dad should and checking up on her and caring for her. However, a lot of the divorce stress was thus brought into our home. Our house was now a center hub of the latest drama and constant goings and comings of me, Hubby, SIL, and FIL. 

Add in 30 hours a week, plus cheerleading, for a 7 months pregnant lady= uncool. 

I had started to feel like the live-in maid....well the live-in-maid who couldn't keep up with the housework! When we weren't carting SIL to and from tennis or talking things over with her dad, Hubby kept us on a pretty busy social schedule as well. Any night we actually didn't have something going on, I just wanted to crash downstairs with the Hubby, SIL included, and watch Psych on Netflix. I think I got to do that 

Needless to say, I was burning out. And FAST. Being so exhausted and busy hardly left me time, space, or energy to spend the proper time with the Lord. It was incredibly easy for bitterness to creep into my heart. In fact, I practically invited the bitterness to come waltzing in! I was angry, hurt, lonely (in the midst of all that, really?!), feeling unloved, and uncared for. I tried to push on wards as best I could, but the bitterness was lodged in my heart, and eventually found its way out through my mouth. I imagine I made life even more difficult for my poor Hubby as I started complaining about his family members. I just remember wanting help and someone to listen to me, but expecting that from Hubby was incredibly selfish at that time. I should have turned to God; only He can handle our emotional burdens. 

After about 2 weeks, the sister-in-law had to move back home due to some more craziness. However, my bitterness did not move out with her. It stayed wedged deeply in my heart. I knew that by complaining I wasn't making anything better and that I was becoming a really gross person, but I couldn't stop. I felt I need to get it all out of me and that complaining would some how relieve my emotions. When has that ever worked for anyone??

 And then I read 1 Peter 4:9 and realized I had failed miserably before the Lord. I had been given my first opportunity at true hospitality and fallen short. Tripped on the way to the starting line up. Was this a difficult first opportunity? I'm sure. But the verse doesn't say "Practice hospitality when you feel like it" or "Practice hospitality when it is convenient for you". There is a reason Peter tells us to practice hospitality without grumbling, because he knows that grumbling comes from a bitter heart. He wants us to offer hospitality to others because we love them and are overflowing with the love of Christ. 

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins"
1 Peter 4:8

Because I failed to stay close to the Lord during this time, I am still fighting the battle of bitterness. The walls protecting my heart were damaged, and now I have to laboriously repair them, brick by brick. 

I urge you, do not grumble about being hospitable, but instead turn to the Lord your God, seek His love, and let it in turn flow out of you to others, even strangers. 

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it"
Hebrews 13:2

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Husband Project Final

Hello Bloggy!!

Well, it is time for me to draw a close to the Husband Project. In my last post about the Husband Project, I discussed three projects I wanted to accomplish for sure so let me regale you on that account first!

For project #17, the one involving his went interestingly. I snuck out and got his car washed at the closest Holiday gas station and also ran to Subway for a $15 gift card (he really likes to get their breakfast sandwiches). I wrote a little note and stuck the card inside, leaving it in his cup holder. I also threw away all the trash and junk that seems to so rapidly accumulate in his car. I was so proud of myself for being super sneaky and getting this 'bigger' project accomplished. 

But lo, luck was not with me. Apparently, the next morning when he tried to pull out of the driveway, he discovered he had a flat tire!! So much for him having a nice, shiny car to take to work! Much drama ensued to be sure, and unfortunetly he didn't find the gift card until the next day. He also didn't mention it until about two days later when I couldn't stand it any more and asked. Sigh. Not exactly how I wanted that project to go down. But this was a good one I will keep in my back pocket to do over and over again. 

I will skip telling you about project #12 ;0) but rather move on to H.P. #9. We didn't get to our 'big project' (finishing our living space project), but instead worked on something more meaningful together. As part of our 'Bible study' group, we were to complete a spiritual gifts assessment for ourselves than ask 2-3 people closest to us to complete it for us as well. So we spent one evening answering the questions for each other and then went on a lovely walk to discuss our answers. It felt really romantic to be able to connect with each other and be able to have a good, long, healthy discussion about something so important. CHECK! ..........But I'm still going to try and get him to work on a puzzle with me :)

I also completed Husband Project #21 "Car Chases and Karate Chops" by spending an afternoon (wait...we had an afternoon off...together....alone?!?!?!) watching Captain America on Netflix. We ate ice cream and snuggled and were completely lazy together and it felt GREAT. 

And for project number 15 "What Not to Wear", I bought myself some new more 'mature' slippers (though still freaking adorable I must add!). I haven't had the guts to through out my pink fuzzy slippers yet...........only time will tell. 

The only project I still haven't really managed to schedule time for is #19 or "The Service here is Excellent". I do have a great plan for it, but can't seem to find the time. I also wanted to buy new bed sheets for us (we still don't even own a comforter {!!!}, but mostly because living on a third floor apartment meant I could wear short sleeves and even shorts around the house all day. Maybe we will finally need one this winter!), but that is something Hubby would probably get upset about if I went without him. He likes picking out good comfy things. The problem is actually getting him to Target!! 

And those were my Husband Projects!! This book was sooooooooooooo practical and I would recommend it to anyone. As I read each challenge, I took notes in my journal about several possible ideas for each one, so I still have lots of great ideas left to bless my Hubby with. It is also something that I hope to return to again and again, always updating my ideas list and looking for more awesome ways to love on my Hubby. The Husband Project also really challenged me to learn to love my husband even when I don't WANT to love him. If I stuck with it faithfully, I am sure it would continue softening my heart towards him. 

So, again I say "Read the Husband Project!!" Super easy AND fun!! Good luck all!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Spiritual Gifts Inventory!

Hello Bloggy,

Recently my husband and I completed a spiritual gifts inventory as part of our young adult group (YAG). First we were to take the quiz answering the questions for ourselves. Then we were to ask people close to us to take the test for us. Hubby and I completed it for each other.

Here are our Top Five Spiritual Gifts::

Test taken by myself for Me:
1. Teaching   2. Knowledge   3. Hospitality  4. Exhortation   5. Giving

Results from Hubby taking test for Me:
1. Teaching  2. Hospitality  3. Service   4. Faith   5. Healing

Whaa????? Healing? FAITH??? ME?!?!? I was a little honored that he thought so highly of me! I also found it odd that we both scored teaching as the highest for me (although for me I had teaching and knowledge tied). I have defined teaching as "to instruct others in the Bible in a logical/systematic way for understanding and growth". Yikes. Sounds so....responsible. However, I can totally understand that knowledge would be high when I tested myself. I love Bible Studies and learning new things about the Bible, such as the Greek and Hebrew meaning of words. In fact, as soon as Hubby and I shared our test results, I wanted to run back home and start researching Bible Verses and blogs about our top gifts!!

Test taken by Hubby for himself:
1. Hospitality  2. Giving  3. Teaching   4. Faith   5. Pastoring

Results from Me taking test for Hubby:
1. Hospitality  2. Faith  3. Evangelism  4. Prophecy  5. Pastoring  6. Giving

I think he was surprised that he had scored so high on hospitality (17 pts v. Giving 12), but we both agree that he loves being social, inviting people over for dinners, cooking meals for them, and genuinely longs for a solid Christian community. We may not be philoxenos yet, but definetely got the philadelphia! The prophecy one threw us both for a loop which is why I included my sixth answer as well since I truly believe Hubby does have a heart for that. Evangelism was also shocking to him. I defined it as "to be a messenger of the good news of the Gospel". He has been through some tough persecutions in his job and especially, his military career, but it has never shaken him AND he has managed to constantly be sharing nuggets of God where ever and whenever he could. When I pointed this out, I think he could see it a little better.

True to my Knowledge gift, I have already dived into researching hospitality as it was Hubby's highest gift and also in my top five. I know often people treat hospitality as the 'women's role', and make it out to be all about decorating the home and cooking stellar meals. But already I have gleaned from the New Testament that hospitality was something the apostles expected everyone to partake in. It was something that was expected towards all brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Romans Love chapter (12:9-21) is an example of how all Christians are to love one another and practice hospitality. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves....Share with God's people in need. Practice hospitality." The author doesn't add "Practice hospitality...if it is your spiritual gift."

Seen again in 1 Peter 4:9-10 "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in various forms." Hospitality is spoken about as being OUTSIDE one's gifts. We are to use our gifts to SERVE OTHERS, which is a major proponent of hospitality!

Before I continue to ramble on about what other awesome-ness I have learned about hospitality thus far, I will let far better writers give it a shot. Check out these blog posts/articles!:

1. A Beginner's Guide to Hospitality . I check this one time and time again

2. I am just starting to read Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch. I got it for my Kindle. I think it will be an excellent resource that is 'gender neutral' so that Hubby can benefit as well

3. And I love this example of hospitality found here: Stress Free Christmas: Simple Hospitality.  Short and sweet but it captures the heart of hospitality so well.

Perhaps later I will share with you my actual failures with Biblical hospitality that I experienced just recently. But now... I feel more research coming on :))

ps Again, I tried a link up (!) over at the Christian Mommy Blogger

Monday, September 3, 2012

Revive Your Marriage

Hello All!

I wanted share with you about the Revive Your Marriage challenge going on at a blog I follow called Women Living Well and a few other blogs as well. It just so happens that this week's challenge is about prayer.

As you may I know I am also participating in the Husband Project and my challenge was to set an alarm at the same time everyday to remind myself to pray for my husband. What a timely coincidence! Or more likely, a God prompting! With life craziness these days I feel that prayer is now one of the only ways I have to connect with my husband, and I haven't even been doing it!

I have been staying in the Word and memorizing Scripture, and through this I feel that God is showing me just how ugly my heart is. I mean, wowza!! I never even knew I had some of these problems, but God is really opening my eyes to the filth that lays in my heart and I cannot deny it any longer. I feel that I have let bitterness creep into my heart towards my husband and I can't seem to fight it off anymore. Just reading the Word and trying to do my best isn't cutting it anymore. For the first time in my life I can honestly see WHY I need prayer. I feel like Peter while he was walking on the water and he looked down. He saw the reality of what he was doing, and he started to sink. But Peter knew just who to reach out to--Jesus.

So I am grabbing Jesus' hand and letting Him guide me to the surface. I am committing to pray for my husband every morning at 8 am. If I am not sure what to pray for I am using a few resources, one being "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian and a free downloadable resource from the blog Inspired to Action which you can get also just by following their blog through email or RSS reader.

I am ready for prayer to make a difference in my marriage! Are you??

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*** Attempted my first ever link up at! Hope it worked! :) ***