Day 498: Newbie

Whoa. You know how you think, “Awwwww, it hasn’t been that long since I wrote” and then you actually have to add up the numbers and realize that it has been a full week since you wrote.

Oops.

In my defense, it has been a jam-packed week for me.

I was co-hosting a baby shower on Saturday morning and then my son’s birthday party on Saturday night. Then on Sunday afternoon I went to see Gatsby (which was so. flipping. good.) with a friend that will be gone all summer. Then I guess Monday was more of a recovery day than anything and then today was full of tornado warnings and my son’s actual birthday.

I found myself just wanting to go to sleep but at the same time I found myself just wanting to write.

And then I was all like, “Write? What am I gonna write about? I got nothing.”

And THEN I was all like, “Then, you need to write. You gotta write. You have to put the RIGHT stuff in your heart and mind.”

So, here I am… to write! My 30 Day Infusion got a little derailed, but hey… there’s no time like the present to start something up again, right?!?!? For my positivity, I think I need something to tell me what to be positive about for the day, so I’m going to refer to the scriptures from Day 460: Name Change.

POSITIVITY: I am new. I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 And really there couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for today’s positivity. I am new. I am not the old January. I am new. Doesn’t mean that I’m perfect. that I’m sinless. that I’m untouchable. It just means that I am new and that my new life has begun.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You make everything new. You are the Beginning and the End. You are my Hope and my Future! As I embark upon today God, I am reminded of everything that you are to me. And right now I don’t care about food… I just want to stay close to You today. I just want to be reminded of my newness. of my new beginnings. of my hope and my future. I just want to go where You go and stay where You stay. Keep me close by your side today God. Keep my eyes focused on what You focus upon. You are so good to me. so merciful. so patient and kind. You are my God. Amen.

{The new leaves on a plant
that I almost killed! The new
leaves are almost more
beautiful than the old.}

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Day 491: Dream Come True

Day 2 of my 30 Day Infusion of positivity and prayer!

I’ll do the positivity first and then end with the prayer at the bottom…

POSITIVITY: Today I am reminded of yesterday’s positivity: I am made for MORE! More than just food. More than easy comfort. More than reliance upon something of this world.

I am made for royalty!

I am the daughter of The King! I am a princess! It’s like every girl’s dream come true!

But there are so many important things that I am called to do today as a princess of the Kingdom of God, and I’m not talking just laundry and dishes. Reaching out to those who are in need spiritually and physically. Checking on the welfare of The King’s people. Making appearances on His Behalf. Wearing a garment of praise.

What a blessing to have been accepted as one of God’s children!

See, I even have a crown! Haha!

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PRAYER: God- thank you for today. Thank you for being all that I need. Thank you for being my Healer and my Help, my Protector and my Savior.

Thank you for waking me up easily this morning so I could go walk. Thank you for the beach-like breeze that accompanied me. Thank you for the sweet moments with my sons and my husband. Thank you even for these few stolen moments to pray!

Today, I am grateful. I am hopeful. Yet still I ask that you keep me on track.

“Help me to be self-controlled. Let me show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose the gospel may not be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about me.” Titus 2:6-8

May every moment of today be a focus on You. May today bring me into a closer understanding of you and your grace and mercy and holiness.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for my life but mostly thank you for my faith.

Amen.

{And just for kicks, I had to show you guys
a pic of my son wearing the crown…
cause it’s HYSTERICAL!}

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Day 490: Positivity And Prayers

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I realized over this past weekend that I have been more down on myself than encouraging. We are our worst critics, right?

Well, after reading a few more chapters of Made To Crave, I realized two things that have been severely lacking in my journey:

Prayers.
Positivity.

See- even there I could say it like this:

Well, after reading a few more chapters of Made To Crave, I realized two things that have been severely lacking in my journey I want to incorporate more into my journey:

Prayers!
Positivity!

See, even that little turn of words was a big deal!

So, I’m going on a 30-day “infusion”! (see? Instead of a 30-day cleanse, I’m focusing on the positive and calling it an infusion!) I’m going to be infusing my life with prayer and positivity and you guys get to come along with me!

Today, I’m going to be borrowing a sentence from Lysa’s book as my “positive” phrase:

I am made for more!

Whenever I am tempted by something less than what He would have for me, I am going to remind myself, “I am made for something MORE!”

And prayers. Gonna start praying more. And since I’m a stay at home mom, my life seems to revolve around the kitchen, so today if I am tempted for some non-covenant food then I am going to leave the kitchen and then pray when the food-distraction is out of sight! Refocus on Him and then get back to business.

I’m so excited about this new turn. I hope that today you too can put on a garment of praise and hope and life with me!

Here is my prayer this afternoon:

Make me self-controlled and alert. My enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Help me resist him and stand firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9

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Day 303: Zero Car Garage

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My garage is a mess.

I mean… not like an “Oh no… the rack that holds up all the yard tools just fell down” kind of a mess, but a “You mean they make racks that hold up yard tools?” kind of a mess. Like… my garage has probably only been able to fit a car in it for like a total of three months during the eight years that we have owned this house. Just look at it… it’s cuh.ray.zeeeeeee.

And I hate that. I mean… winter is coming to Texas. Yes, I know, it will only be really, really cold for, like, two or maybe three months, but all the same… the whole defrosting the car in order to drive five minutes to take my son to preschool and then five minutes back home, well, it just wears me out. (I’m not a fan of cold weather, if you hadn’t noticed.) Plus, a clean garage is such a great place to take kids to play on rainy days… it’s like they are getting outside kinda but not really. And then just looking for something… for ANYTHING in there is a beat-down.

What was that?

Clean it out, you say?

Pffffff, well OF COURSE that would be an easy solution. If it were THAT easy do you think that I’d have an unorganized, cluttered, messy garage?

And that’s just it… the garage is an area of my life in which I am able to close a door and forget about it… sure, occasionally I have to go in there to get out Christmas decorations or to look for my son’s toy light saber to complete his Obi-Wan outfit, but most of the time I just avoid that entire room. No one else goes in there, so no need to clean it, right?

But deep down I know that it is an area of our house that needs to be organized. It needs to be cleaned. to be decluttered. to be… useful. Cause now it is only “useful” for holding junk and for successfully hiding all of our tools when we need them.

And I think that my life and my soul… they are pretty similar to that. Most of my soul, I at least give touch-up spots occasionally. Some areas, I clean regularly. Some areas, I am closed-up, locked-down, and there are no-admittance signs posted all over that stuff. And then there’s areas like the garage… ignored. Purposefully ignored. But ignored all the same. And I think that this is almost more dangerous than those areas with top-secret-clearance-only. Because ignored stuff rusts. festers. grows. It defeats me whenever I look at that part of my life just because of the sheer AMOUNT of things to sift through.

But (yes, here’s the big but… you were hoping that I wasn’t gonna ramble about my garage for an entire post, right?)…

My husband and I are planning on asking my parents (Mom, if you are reading this, then you can consider this me asking you about it… haha) to watch our boys for a day over Thanksgiving break so that we can, as I like to call it, mama-jama that sucker and clean. it. out.

And we are going to have to sweat. and get dirty. and get rid of some things that we are attached to. and be embarrassed at some of the things that we have been keeping in there. BUT we are going to clean it out. And start fresh. And start new. And clean. And hopeful that we can keep it relatively fresh, new, and clean.

And sometimes that’s what we need to do with our God. Like I said, recently I went away for a MomsAway retreat… and that’s what I let God work on… pulling some stuff out of the garage. But I needed to have someone take over my responsibilities for the day, for the weekend. No, not everyone can do this for a full weekend, I know. I guess I would encourage you to set aside a night each week to do it for yourself then. If your kids are in bed by 8:00pm then take every Thursday night to let God get some stuff out of the garage. Or if you have to wait and do it on Saturdays or Sundays if you work, do it then. Just remember, the dishes can wait. the laundry can wait. lesson planning can wait. catching up on your favorite shows from the week can wait. Eternity… can’t. It’s too important. Actually, it’s the only thing that is important AT ALL.

I was reminded again of this yesterday when I was reading through my Jesus Calling devotional (I spoke about it yesterday) and it had Jesus saying, “My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away.” And I know that He is working to clear out a lot of my debris and clutter right now… in a bunch of areas of my life, not just with food… although food continues to be an issue that I have to deal with daily. Daily I have to open up the garage door… the BIG garage door… and let everyone see what is going on in there while He rips out the junk and replaces it with cleanliness. And so my prayer continues to be:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

Day 173: Kriya For Kidneys

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So my friend Ana is getting her yoga certification and apparently with that she gets to sorta do some of her own “advanced” yoga kind of stuff. She said it was called kriya, and from the thirty seconds that I researched it on the internet, it looks like kriya can range from doing some crazy yoga moves that will clear out constipation (seriously)… all the way to cleaning out your closet.

(She was telling me the latter type of kriya – ha!)

Anyway, one of the parts of kriya, which at it’s core seems to be about cleansing, is to rid yourself of unwanted, unnecessary, unhelpful, unmotivating “stuff” from your life. According to Ana, starting in the closet is a good place to begin. So, I gave it a try… now, my closet is already pretty streamlined because it is soooooooo tiny. It’s a “walk in closet” but only in name… cause that’s all you can do… is take one. step. in. and then look around. But I certainly had some things that were in there that I was making bad associations.

Like the shirt above… first of all, I always feel like I’m going clubbing when I wear it, but ummmmmm… in case you can’t tell from the posts about my life… clubbing is not something that I do anymore. And lest you think it’s because I am so terribly upstanding and righteous, it is actually because I just get grossed out by all the sweaty people, and desperate guys, and the late, late nights… so, basically, it’s just because I’m old! Haha! (Plus, I dance pretty much all the time in my house, thank you very much Pandora).

Also, I bought it when I was several sizes bigger and I thought it made me look skinny (which it was a flattering shirt), and once I put it on at my size now I was a little disgusted with myself for wearing it before… it looked snug on me now so I would imagine that it was wayyyyyyyyy too snug then.

Annnnnnnnnd, I have to safety pin the straps on the under-shirt part of it so that it doesn’t hang down to my belly button… it’s one of those shirts that I’m pretty sure about three days after I bought it at full price, they put it on the clearance rack for 75% off or sent them all off to Ross.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, it was always. forever. constantly. falling off of the hanger it was on. It didn’t matter WHAT type of hanger I put that dad gum thing on… it would fall off. And that drove me CRAZY.

So. I kriyaed that thing. Put it in the give away. In fact, in the picture above, it’s in the doorway between my laundry room and my garage to go in the pile that the National Kidney Foundation was picking up that day, so that sucker is gonnnnnnnne!

And it really does feel better to have it gone!

Yes, it was a shirt that I loved at one point, but now it’s just a blah. And this life that Christ came for, well, like He said…

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

And I’m pretty sure the word “blah” or “meh” is not in there.

Therefore… let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

So, day by day, I’ll be getting rid of the “meh” in my life. Purging the “blah” from each day. And seeking out that rich and satisfying life that He came to give me.

Day Forty-Three: Obedience Is Bliss

(FYI: I am writing this on the evening of February 21st around 9:10pm. It was a post that I needed to write immediately before the awesomeness of it wore off, but since I already posted for day forty-two then I’m scheduling it to post on day forty-three.)

I had a blunder tonight.

Hmmmmmm, perhaps that is putting it lightly. Perhaps that is me not choosing the right word. Perhaps that is me trying to go easy on myself. I’m going to try again.

I broke the covenant tonight.

Yep. Broke it. Shattered it. Demolished it.

Cause that’s what happens to an agreement when one side “breaks” their oath… their bond. The “agreement” is null. void. pointless. non-existent.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop being over dramatic (not that me being over dramatic is a shocker to anyone who knows me). Here’s what happened: I planned a nice meal for us and I even reveled in it during day forty-two’s post: potato and carrots in an onion sauce, baked apples, and a salad. Only, let me just tell you that the baked apples weren’t so much just “baked apples”. It was a Baked Apple Crisp. And I think that any foodie out there is well aware that a Baked Apple Crisp has quite a lot of brown sugar in it.

At dinner, I did a great job of not eating everything on my plate (cause I had gotten an old-me-sized portion… as in, a big ol’ honkin serving). So I stopped when I felt a little bit of pressure. I only ate a few bites of the apple crisp. And that was that. It would have been a perfect evening… except I left out the remains of my meal while I bathed the boys. And then afterwards I came in and ate a few more bites even though I was not hungry. And then after I got both boys down, I snuck (and yes, I say snuck because I walked down the hallway extra quietly so that my husband wouldn’t know that I was finished putting down my oldest) into the kitchen and started chowing down on the leftovers in the baking dish. Oh my gosh. Sooooooo good.

And then… the war began.

Stop!!! January, stop! This is not right. This is breaking the covenant. This is gluttony. This is not what God wants. It’s not what you want. Yes it is… are you kidding me, this is flour and sugar and butter and more sugar. Why would I not want this? Why would God not want this? It’s not gluttony… it’s just enjoying good food. It’s not really breaking the covenant, I mean, it’s got apples in it for crying out loud! This is fine. I don’t need to stop. January. Stop. Think about tonight. Think about five minutes from now. Think about tomorrow. Stop. I. can’t. stop. It’s too good. I. can’t. stop.

And then the moment that I have been hoping for these past forty-two days… here was my next thought…

God, make me willing to obey.

And it worked!

It’s was almost as if my fork was stuck in the next apple. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to disobey. I wanted to obey. I wanted to be willing to obey. I was going to obey.

And I will admit that I broke into tears at that moment. Because God is so great. Forty-two days in and He is greater than I imagined He could be. His Word… that one verse from just one day… written on my heart… swooped in and connected me to God in a way that saved me. And I stood in that kitchen by myself and raised my hands in thanks to the Almighty Of The Universe for His mercy. His compassion. His adoration. His Love. His help. His salvation.

And I knew that immediately I had to come sit down at this computer and write this post.

THIS post is totally going to be one of my memorial stones. I have been wondering what I could do… well, here was a moment where I needed to cross a river and God dried up the water so that I could pass… and here is a stone that I am picking up to remember that He is faithful and He is just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all of my wrongdoing and wickedness.

Today has been the best day of my covenant experience… which is SO JESUS… because today is the day that I broke the covenant and therefore should have been my worst day. Today though… today was mercy at its best. And hope at its best. And forgiveness. And all things new. Because today He lifted me from the pit and He “turned my wailing into dancing; He removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing His praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise Him forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

Read your bible peeps. Read it. And you will. be. changed.

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