Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keep Calm and Tuesday On - Love, Joy, Peace Challenge

There is always something to work on in your character, whether you be 17, or 71!  
I personally know, after looking back at how I wasn't patient with this person, or not all that humble in that situation, {the list could go on and on...} my character flaws can sometimes seem overwhelming!  

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm one of those gals who likes to have practical ways to help me to overcome difficulties.  So, I was remembering what it says in Galatians 5:22-23 about the fruits of the Spirit:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."

. . . and I started to think, "Now how can I practically apply this verse?"
What I came up with was a sort of challenge to myself:  
The LOVE, JOY, PEACE Challenge

Generally, it takes about 21 days to form a habit, so what I'm doing is taking 1 "fruit" a month (a couple extra days for good measure :) to focus on and pray that God would cultivate that character quality in me.  

So, for example, this month's "fruit" is love!  
That means that for the rest of this month, I am praying that I would love others with God's kind of love, and then actively look for ways to show and cultivate that love throughout the month.  
From there, I'll take the other fruits of the Spirit and do the same thing with the hope that by the end of 9 months, I will have formed unshakable habits based around loving others, being joyful in all circumstances, having complete peace in my heart, . . . and so on.  

Now, why exactly did I tell you all this?
I told you so that prayerfully you and many others will join me in actively working on our weaknesses, because, 

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
-2 Timothy 2:15

And of course, it is because of God's grace and through his Holy Spirit that we have the power to overcome our weaknesses - one step at a time.  

Now, before I leave you for this Tuesday, I'd like to share something that really encouraged and inspired me today.  Its a really short, 4 part video series called, "FABULOUS LIFE OF A TEENAGER" by Alex and Brett Harris - founders of the Rebelution movement, and authors of the book, Do Hard Things.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Keep Calm and Tuesday On - God is still God through business

Mmmmm . . .  Fresh Muffins
Old Disney songs on Pandora
A sunny morning (very rare these days)
New day ahead
Quiet time with Jesus to look forward to
Man, to all appearances, my day is made!  But believe it or not, I went to bed last night thinking and worrying about everything I have to get done this month - from school to keeping the house clean - which is a whole other challenge in and of itself.  
(yes, my home is normal too)
My aunt is here from Colorado with her 2 little boys for the month of July, so that should keep us all plenty busy . . . but of course, that's the good kind of busy.  
After that in August, Mom has a big 'ol' surgery that she's gotta get over with, and our family takes our annual beach trip with dad's fam later that month as well.
. . . maybe in September, our life will slow back down to a more normal speed.
I don't ever remember a more busy year!  
However, I sometimes get the feeling that with all of this extra stuff that has come up in my life, I am kind of skimping on my devotions in the morning in order to fit in everything else that I've gotta get done.
 Not good!  
So I've started reading this book that I found tucked away in one of our bookshelves that is really helpful and addresses these issues.  It's called; Life Management for Busy Women.
Now, some of the topics are geared more towards the busy Mom/Wife, but even then - most of the points are applicable to me in one way or the other.  
I wasn't quite sure what I would find when I opened the book, but then I saw the very first chapter:  Developing a Passion for God's Word. 
So I though, "hey!  How bad can that be???"
I started reading, and came across something that really hit home for me:
It said, "Somehow, at some time, for some reason, God's Word took a secondary place to other pursuits.  The lesser choices were made regarding how time was spent, until time was not taken each day to develop a passion for knowing and following God's plan.  

At the heart of a woman seeking to live out God's plan for her life is a passion for God's Word.  And when we fail to purposefully and willfully develop this passion, we begin to spend our precious time and days on lesser pursuits . . . which can lead to wandering off the path of God's purpose for our life and out of His will."

Then the author went on to give 10 practical ways in which to develop a passion for God's word.  They were;
1. Refuse to miss a day of quiet time with the Lord.
2. Pray as you approach God's Word
3. Consume God's Word in various ways. (i.e. songs, memorizing verses, placing scripture around the house.  etc.) (basically surrounding yourself with the Word)
4. Find a rhythm or a pattern that fits your lifestyle.  (i.e. when is the best time to have your quiet times.  Mine is in the morning.)
5. Be a woman of one Book - the Book ("Make it a rule to read what honors God's standards and glorifies Him.  And if you only have time to read one book, make sure that book is the Book." )
6. Be accountable
7. Beat the family. ("aim at getting up before your family gets up"
8. Teach your children.  (well....since I don't have any children of my own to teach ;)  I take this and apply it to teaching/encouraging/mentoring younger siblings, or friends)
9. Purpose to get up ("Surely any woman with any passion for anything makes sure she gets up to enjoy that passion!")
10. Aim for more time in your devotions.  
I just thought that those were super helpful and encouraging to me, so I wanted to share them with all of you who might just be going through some of the same things as I am . . . especially this Summer.  
Remember!  God is still God through business, and we/I can't just put him on hold while trying to fit "everything else" into our schedules.  
Besides . . . Isn't He the one who gave us these busy times in the first place?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

KC&TO - Book Store in the Mountains

 I've had a cozy rainy day filled with College Plus degree consultations, memorizing Philippeans 2:5-11, watching old Westerns with Grandaddy, and keeping Caelen company as she worked at my Grandfather's surveying buisness.  
So nice.  :)

The other day, we took a trip up to Little Switzerland NC for the afternoon where we visited the little chalet and book store.  It was simply beautiful.  


There is nothin like the smell of old books, eh?

That's another thing that I love about living up in the mountains . . . there are so many quaint little shops tucked away in there!  Of course, I never actually end up buy anything from them, but I always come back inspired.  They are usually selling some nifty lil trinket that I figure I can make myself....if I ever find the time to  :D

Have a great rest of your Tuesday evening!

{Oh my!  It's the 4th of July in only 2 days!  I almost forgot!}

{How do you usually spend the Fourth?}