Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Belly Painting

"Mr Big Artiste"
Final Product. Painted by Peden and Melanie
Ugh this is a horrible Picture. But he is so proud :P

Let your Light Shine: What a few pumpkins taught me.

Apparently a new annual tradition, the other night was a night of pumpkin carving out some of our friends' house. We brought our pumpkin and joined in helping the kids carve theirs. Who would have thought that a simple, sometimes mishappen gourd could bring so much joy. 

If you remember from last year, carving night feature a dragon, a platypus, a pokemon, and happy little girl. 

This year featured more fun characters, more fun times, and (for the sake of blogging) a lesson. :) Enjoy the photos and the insight. :)

"The very first poke." 

 This experience brought to mind a lot of thoughts akin to that of the potter and the clay, although in this case it is the Peden and the pumpkin.  

Genesis 32:30-31 "So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved." Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh."

Jacob wrestled with God, and before he would submit, had to be terribly injured, or broken. Are we willing to let God break us open, in order to create something new and even better than we were before?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spending Time with Jesus... and Country Radio

As a country music fan, I am rarely taken by surprise while listening to country radio. I've pretty much heard it all (for twenty years. yep. raised on the oldies and everything.) A lot of it is pretty good, some kind of pointless, some sad. Every once in a while a song will have exceptionally great lyrics or bring me to tears. On occasion a song will be actually so horrible that I train myself to know the first two notes, in order to change the station as quickly as possible. (coughcough Luke Bryan, I can tell you where to find me. :P)

But the other day I actually ran across a song that shocked me. This might be mostly due to the fact that I thought I was listening to a Christian Contemporary station, and only after the first few minutes of the song, did it strike me as an odd addition to their collection. 

Before I go into depth, here is a link to the song, and I will post the full lyrics to the end of the blog, for your convenience:

Yes, this song played for a good few minutes before it struck me as odd for its station. When I realized it was in fact on a country station, I found it sad that some people would probably have a conniption if they heard this on Way FM or Klove. The song is so real, so heart felt, and so true. But let's get down to the essentials, and see if we can avoid more sensitive issues. (ha! probably not gonna happen. You know me :P)

Granted, if I were to have a beer with Jesus, I would probably order something else, but he could of course order whatever he wants. Beer is just not to my taste, but I wouldn't say no to a taste of any of his favorite choices. Perhaps a nice bottle of wine, circa 25 AD ish. Maybe we would just order water and see what he whipped up. (John 2:1-11) Why, yes, I do think I'm clever. Ok, back to the song.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Good Morning! (at lunch time?)

I just had to post this song. One day I will figure out how to set it as the alarm on my phone. I know, I know. If you aren't awake by now, you're a little late.

But this song is kind a fun all day.Will be blasting it while I'm cleaning today. (Yep. I am cleaning today.)

"I can feel the hope that's rising up in me!"

LITL: The Answer is always No

Yesterday I had my first ministry support appointment. It went very well. I got the opportunity to sit down with a Pastor with whom I am quite familiar through various involvements with the ministry already.

At the end of the meeting, I jokingly asked him "So how did I do?" His response was very encouraging: "You did great. Just relax and don't ever be afraid to ask." This is similar to the idea that the answer to an un-asked question is always no.

This later brought to mind a passage I have recently read in small group, the one when God gave Solomon wisdom. 

"At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?”
And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. Lord my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 

 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice, I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life. If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” (I Kings 3:5-14)

Solomon's response to the Lord's question shows a great faithfulness and longing for the Lord. Often we are too caught up in our lives and our problems to even notice that God is trying so hard to bless us. We won't sit down for two seconds to enjoy the things God has given us, or to hear his voice. We just keep on trudging through our daily lives because that's the way its always been and always will be. 

WAKE UP! Yes, God calls us to some pretty mundane and difficult things sometimes, but he is still our Father and still wants to bless us. If we are willing to follow him wholeheartedly, he will bless us as he blessed Solomon. 

"All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. Your descendants will be blessed, and your land’s produce, and the offspring of your livestock, including the young of your herds and the newborn of your flocks. Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out." (Deuteronomy 28:2-6)

So in all things, seek the Lord's blessing. He may not bless everything you do, but if that is the case, then maybe you should change what you are doing. But when something is laid on your heart, don't ever be afraid to ask. God loves you and wants what is best for you. Better than anything you could dream of.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cooking sans Catastrophe: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice

Yep. Still fall. :) And I, a summer dweller, and actually loving it. The changing leaves, the cool breezes, fun sweaters. Not to mention I just had camellias bloom in my front yard. I know it doesn't really count as an accomplishment of mine, given that the minute I look at them they will probably die. :P 

So keeping with the season, another fall inspired recipe. This is a sort of variation of the last squash recipe I posted. However I like it better, since it was more savory than sweet and tht is typically my preferences. 

This recipe came from one of my new favorite magazines, for various reasons. Publix has put out a magazine full of recipes, family helps, health articles, etc. Best part? It's free. I have picked up two copies in store and have also signed up to receive them to my home. We'll see how soon that happens. 

Above is the picture from the magazine. As usual, noting ever looks as glamorous as it does in the magazine, plus the fact that I had to improvise a little, given the ingredients we had and didn't have. 

LITL: Invincible

"No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you. Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5, 7-9)

Last night, my husband and I watched Remember the Titans. (my favorite!) So many bits and pieces of that move will be engrained in my brain forever. It doesn't help when daddy and I would watch it EVERY time it came on TV.

But this morning when I randomly (or not so much) turned (clicked. on my kindle :P) to the above passage. As I read about the assurance of victory that God gave to Joshua, Julius Campbell rang through my head:

Coach Boone: "It's all right. We're in a fight. You boys are doing all that you can do. Anybody can see that. Win or lose... We gonna walk out of this stadium tonight with our heads held high. Do your best. That's all anybody can ask for."
"No, it ain't Coach. With all due respect, uh, you demanded more of us. You demanded perfection. Now, I ain't saying that I'm perfect, 'cause I'm not. And I ain't gonna never be. None of us are. But we have won every single game we have played till now. So this team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight. And, uh, if it's all the same to you, Coach Boone, that's how we want to leave it." 

Just like the coach expects a certain level of performance from his team, God expects a certain level of performance from us. He asked Joshua two things: to trust that God would always be with him, as he was with Moses, and to follow God's commands. Joshua couldn't have won all of those victories or become the famous warrior he is to the church today with his own power. He was not perfect. None of us are. 

But God is perfect. God has won every battle he has fought since the beginning of time. And with God,  his team can be perfect. We may mess up, but God's will will always prevail. If we are walking in HIS way,  performing the way HE expects us to, we will win. If the Titans had played the way the world around them expected them to, they would have lost every game they played, and that's IF they made it our of camp alive. 

So, are you playing the game the way God has instructed you? Then you will win. Because your power comes from God, and he is perfect. If you aren't, then what in your life needs to change?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LITL: Reaching for a life preserver

Take it from some one who knows from experience. When you're drowning, you'll pretty much reach for anything that might pull you above water. Anything that might help get some air in your lungs.

So what about when we're drowning in something that isn't water? What about pain, grief, sorrow, guilt, disappointment, loneliness, bitterness, fear? What do we reach for then? I came to this same question last night when I realized that the things I was reaching for were just sinking with me. When one would fail to fix the problem, it only increased my dispair.

It is so easy to rely on the things of this world for support or rescue. You see it all the time with anyone who seeks a substance or activity to escape from their day to day problems. For me its people. I rely so much on the people around me. However, I forget that people are just that... just people. They aren't perfect.

I've had some problems with a friend recently. These problems have left me sad, hurt, and sometimes even bitter toward the source. I keep thinking the friend will stop doing what they're doing, and everything will be OK again. I talk to my husband about it and more often than not I'm left more upset, because he doesn't completely understand, nor is he able to fix the problem. It wasn't until last night, in a bout of feeling particularly hopeless and lost, that I realized something just wasn't clicking.

Monday, October 22, 2012

LITL: You can't always get what you want.

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."

Some very wise men (The Rolling Stones) once said this. :P

Sadly my husband keeps using this against me every time I say I want a puppy. (eventually I shall prevail :P) But I don't want to talk about puppies today. I want to talk about pain. 

Being human is painful. Let's face it. Aside from cuts, scrape, bruises, broken bones, we have heart ache,  abandonment,  neglect, abuse. Sin that entered this world by the first man corrupted the world. James describes world with these words: “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” (James 3:16) "The way of the sinner is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). We are often weary and heavy laden. Cheerful start to your morning, huh?

The good news is, this pain won't last forever. Revelation 21:4 gives us hope for a brighter future: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away."

Unfortunately, we have no idea how long until that day comes, so for now, we have to deal with the pain of living in this world, as well as the additional pain of trying to live in this world and walk by the Spirit. Jesus was honest with his disciples about the difficulty of this task. “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:18-20)

However, it's still not all doom and gloom, because Jesus, our master, left us with authority: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Friday, October 19, 2012

2012 Child Evangelism Golf Tournament

Yesterday my husband and I had the privilege to drive out to Wynlakes Golf Course for the annual Child Evangelism Fellowship of Central Alabama Golf Tournament Fundraiser. Although the weather started out dreary, and there was a little light drizzling when we arrived, the sun eventually came out for a beautiful day.  

We got there some time between 11:00 and 11:30, just in time to witness a wonderful sight: Dreamland Barbeque unloading our lunch from their delivery van. :)They provided a wonderful hot lunch of barbecue (of course), potato salad, baked beans, bread, and a grand finale of their banana pudding. As we set out the plates, silverware, drinks (sweet tea, of course) some of the golfers began to make their way in for a bite. Most of the golfers sat down together for a good meal and fellowship. Some more determined golfers grabbed their lunch on their way back out to course.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time together. Staff, committee members, family members, and some who were new to the idea of CEF fellowshipped together. All golfers could linger over to the prize table and see the beautiful plaques made for the teams that raised the most money or golfed the most holes, as well as the fantastic door prizes provided by many generous companies such as Earthfare Grocery, Chickfila, Zoe's kitchen, Subway, and many more. 

God has blessed us greatly with the success of this year's golf tournament, in the form of funds raised, donations made, spread of the ministry, and a good time together as followers of Christ.  

LITL: Lost in translation. A communication fail.

I haven't posted a really good post in a while. And so I sit here wondering... what do I have to say. 

Strange, because over the past few days I have constantly had to opt not to speak. For someone like me, this is almost a miracle. I am a logical thinking. I can reason through almost any problem, solve any solution, or at least make up a solution that sounds like I know what I am talking about. 

But I find time and time again that people are not problems; they don't have solutions; they can't be reasoned through. Sometimes they can't even be reasoned with

So how do I respond when it seems something needs to be fixed? I jump in a start fixing it. Why read the instructions when I might be able to figure it out from looking at the pieces? Oh boy, this one gets me in trouble all the time. 

Recently I have had many situations in which I just have to sit back and observe. Doing so, I have learned a few things about communication. There is no such thing as an unbiased point of view. Every one has filters or barriers through which information must pass on its way in and out of the brain. Such filters can be cultural, lengual, based on age, etc. 

Barriers are those more difficult parts of communicating, things that have formed in a person that make it difficult to be flexible and varied in communication. Character flaws, tragic experiences, on going difficult relationships can cause a person to communicate in one specific way, and make them unable of understanding or being understood by a person with different barriers. 

So what do you do when you try to talk to someone and it seems like its being heard in another language? Stop talking. I try to explain more and more what I mean, when I need to stop and figure out what was heard. 

What does God say about this?

Psalm 37:8 - "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil."

Proverbs 15:1 - "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Ephesians 4:1-3 -  " As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

So stop and ask yourself, "What barriers are my words having to go through before they are heard? What is the other person hearing?" And the most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Are there barriers in your life that are preventing you from understanding others? How can you pray the out of your life? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cooking Sans Catastrophe: Crowded Veggie Soup

This is probably my first time feeling like a real chef. I made something and I honestly IMPROVISED!

This is a big step for a cook who is religiously by the recipe every single time. I may add one or two things to the recipe, or change a measurement based on the ingredients I do or don't have. But that's as creative as it get for me. 

Yesterday, I decided it had been two long since I had messed up an obscene amount of dishes, made a colossal wreck of my kitchen, and ended up with something edible. 

So when I went to the store, I perused the produce sections (are you hearing the veggie tales theme songs? I'm hearing the veggie tales theme song.) and got pretty much anything that my pregnant appetite thought looked yummy. 

So, veggie soup it was. :) Would it be cruel to play the theme song now? I think the chef from the muppets might be more appropriate. But anyway. 

I guess it is appropriate when posting a recipe (if you can call it that), to include your ingredients. However, there are obviously no measurements. Soup is when you get to have fun and do it just how you like it. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Schrödinger's Tree. AKA: The Tree of Life was just a tree?

I recently joined Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings. We are studying Genesis and have recently discussed the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  I have been two weeks in a row and have seen a few awesome blessings since then.
  • met a great group of women I hope to get to know through out the future
  • getting the kick in the pants I need to study the Word of God daily
  • getting out of the house :P
  •  reconnected with some awesome friends I haven't seen in a while
  • making connections with other Godly women
  • Having my eyes opened to new truths in parts of the Bible I have studied extensively already. 

That last one is sort of the point of this blog post. I would like to relate to you the day I have my mind ... blown.  Now you may read this and have to take a breather from the profoundness :P or you may think I've lost my marbles. 

That's cool. Either way. 

Last Wednesday, I was sitting in the lecture on Genesis chapter 3, the fall of man. Just a recap, in case it has been a while for you:

Monday, October 15, 2012

LITL: Fake it until You Make it.

Today I must confess something...

I don't have all the answers. 

Sorry to break it to you. :P

However, I am grateful for the Holy Spirit in me that gives me the answers. Today's post is inspired by some sweet time I got to spend with a friend last night. She is struggling with some decisions that she has made in order to follow the Lord. But she is faithful and unwilling to give up. It is such a blessing to see her fighting for what she believes is God's will in her life. 

 This friend, as well as others to whom I have been a help or a guide in the past, always bless me in surprising ways. I say this meaning, they will ask me the hardest questions, and somehow, I can give them the answers. 

Granted this power is not mine. No, sir! I am not the all knowing, intelligent being I like to think I am sometimes. Many times, I am struggling through the same or similar circumstances and have been wondering the same thing that they ask me. 

In life, there are always "whys" and "what ifs." Why doesn't God just do it this way? Why do I have to go through this? Why can't he make it stop? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Savy Shopping: First Buggy-Full in Quite a While

This was my first big trip in a long while. I actually (shame on me) let my coupon book die for a while. I probably went over a month without buying any papers, using any coupons, keeping track of any sales. Yikes. And my family probably paid for it, literally.

But, as you have seen, I have recently revived it and gone on a few minor stock up trips like the Salad Spree.  It has been so rewarding. The part where they start ringing up my coupons and the total starts diving? LOVE IT. So when I finally got a chance to do a big scale trip, I was floating afterwards.

This trip had so many items, I am actually not entirely sure how to approach listing it. But we'll see how this goes. All the couponing was done in one transaction, although I did a second transaction for WIC items. Those are not included in the totals or the list I'm about to give you. So, here goes.

Yeah, this picture kind of sucks. But it is much harder to get a good shot of this many items. 

LITL: When Giving Up Isn't a Bad Thing

Now for a blog, after a fun filled morning. Remember that little incident I had with my windshield? (If not see Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is) Well I got it fixed today. Yay! And for a decent price too. And they vacuumed and washed all my windows and it is so pretty. :) Yeah, I'm a little excited. I even got new windsheild wipers for a great price at Fred's. 

But anyway, this is not a shopping post, although one of those is soon to come after I post this.  

This blog is actually about sacrifice. And coincidentally (yeah, right) the passage I studied this morning for BSF was about the offerings of Cain and Abel. A story most of you know, but just in case, here is a recap:

"Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, 'With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.' Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:1-7)

This passage speaks to us about the attitude of giving. Who cares what Cain brought before God? There are various laws in the Old Testament pertaining to harvest offerings. What really matters is the way he brought it. God obviously already saw the state of Cain's heart, and he warned him about giving in to the sin of pride. 

This truth has recently come to be a much greater presence in our lives, as we have finally taken the leap faith to start tithing. I know, we're heathens. Married over a year and we are just now giving our tithe. But as I explained in The Math Doesn't Matter, letting go of control of our money situation is a very hard struggle for me. However, when we realized how convicted each of us were, we could put it off no longer. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Testing 1-2 Testing 1-2

I am trying this whole facebook/blog syndication thingy. Just to see how it works, this is a test post. Feel free to ignore. Apologies, if now you are hearing the tv testing siren in your head. My bad. :P

Savy Shopping: Salad Spree

Ok, even I was overwhelmed by that alliteration. I apologize.

But I am pretty stoked by the winnings of my shopping today. It was a very small trip, and really I only went today because both of the sales in which I wished to take part ended today.

Yay for Publix and Winndixie, whose sales rotate on Wednesday. Not sure what's up with that. But it keeps me alert to shopping in the middle of the week.

Lucky for me, I am into a new phase in my pregnancy that has opened up the possibilities of what I can eat. This means Bekah isn't being as picky as she was in the beginning. Thus, SALADS! Which I love. Strangely. It used to be that I would rather endure torture than eat "rabbit food." But I guess circumstances (athletics) can change a girl. So this week I stoked up on delicious salad dressing and a couple of lovely salad kits.

LITL: It takes one to know one.

I taught myself something without realizing it. Don't you love it when that happens? So many times I will give another person some advice or help them in some way and then within the next few days, or even sometimes few hours, I realize that thata lesson was really for me. 

Because, God, you are so cool like that. 

So, I figured I'd tell about it, seeing as how I'm never the only one that needs to know things. Life is pretty much a situation where everyone knows something, but no one knows everything.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reconnecting with an old friend from high school. We started out talking about the baby and being excited for the future.Then unfortunately, she admitted to me that life was not at all going the way she hoped. (Unfortunate about her situation, not that she told me :P I am glad she confided in me.) I know all too well what it is like to be in a situation where its impossible to make ends meet, and you feel absolutely helpless. 

She shared her hopes of getting out of Montgomery, but the means to do so are no where in sight. She even wishes she could back into art, which she loves so much. Her situation is even keeping her out of school, a place where she would feel focused and able to move forward through studies. 

I know exactly how she feels. In a way, our high school was a safe place, complete with numerous oppurtunities to get involved with anything that interest you, as well as high expectations for success, and a plethora of people willing and able to assist you and guide in your chosen direction. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our God is an Awesome God, Indeed!

Last night I went to small group with the youth in my church (plus some). It was a great gathering, with worship and scripture, fellowship, food, and some very loud recreation that I could hear coming from the den, but was never brave enough to witness. :P

In the small group we are studying through the book of Romans. The first week we covered some background, as well as the verse that states "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."

This week we studied specifically these verses:
"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips." (Romans 3:10-12)

The focus of discussion was on salvation by grace alone, the idea that regardless of our "good deeds," out being "not as bad as" someone else, we are all equally sinners, because God places no hierarchy among sin. 

Christ likened a malicious thought to the violent act of murdering. (Matthew 5:21-22) When God looks at us, he doesn't see "just a liar," or "a horrible murderer." He see you and me and the guy down the street selling drugs and the folks sitting on death row as THE SAME: sinners. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Introducing... Rebekah Leona Barber!

Yesterday we were blessed to spend some time in Birmingham with my sister Stephanie and brother-in-law Nate. We are also quite blessed to say that we got to go to a lovely ultrasound center to see our little nugget. The place was fantastic! We walked into a small waiting room, filled out one patient form, then the show began. The business is called 4dmommies, located in Mountain brook area of Birmingham.
This is the front of the office building in which the place is located. This is the best picture I could get from the website. 

The room where we had the ultrasound was like being at home. Complete with a bed (way comfier than anything I've ever been on in a doctor's office), chairs and a couch for family and friends to lounge on, and a TV that can be called nothing short of Sunday-night-football worthy (but for viewing baby instead. I'm sure a disappointment to some dads.) :P The owner of the business was so friendly and informal. Her baby girl was even asleep in the room when we got there. Adorable. 

The ultrasound was very thorough, even going overtime to attempt to insure that the gender determination was accurate. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a great 3d ultrasound experience. See their prices and information at her website here. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LITL: Reading, Talking, Crying, Eating... Together :)

Today is going to show a pretty short blog post, but that's ok. It's a busy day anyway, so I am sort of throwing this one together, then running up to shower. 

In case you're wondering why, I am going to an ultrasound at 11:30 with my husband,  my best friend, and my sister to find out the gender of our baby. 


Not that I am throwing together some messy ideas or throwing a passage in that I picked at random. I just chose a shorter passage, instead the two chapters or four gospels I wrote about recently. 

I want to just focus on the early church as a whole today. Sometimes, when we get caught up in our lives as they have become, going back to our beginnings is the healthiest way to refresh. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

LITL: Two (or more) heads are better than one.

See, I told you that, at some point today, I would get this blog out. 

Today has been a busy wife/house mom day. Well, at least busier than usual. But that's how I like it. Despite the outrageous price of gas, I need reasons to get out of my house once in a while. I like being busy. 

First I went to Bible Study Fellowship for the first time with a friend. It was actually a lot of fun. I got to see some people I either hadn't seen in years, or had only heard of through my ministry. 

But, of course, the best part was the Word. I'm really excited for the motivation to get into the word, and then discuss it with a group of women who are going through, or have gone through the same thing I am now. It all reminded me of the early church, but I'll come back to that. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

LITL: The Village that Raised Me

If you were to ask me about my upbringing, I would gladly tell you that I was raised by a village. Yes I had a mom and a dad that "raised me," but I have also been in the midst of a loving church family for about 20 years now. This group of people that I met in my church attributes so much to my life, as they did from the beginning. 

This family has grown and shrunk over the years, changed, morphed, even developed some satellites, meaning that I have met people through other churches that have been added to what I call my family.

Every day I am grateful that I have a church I can go to and christian friends who gladly take me in when I am in need of help or encouragement,  as well as the chance I get to offer the same to each and every one of them. Today I thought a lot about the "institution" that is church today. Sadly, there are places out there that are called churches but are not full of the same love and family that I have experienced in my life. 

But there are so many people who have had a bad experience in a church, that now they are scarred and resentful. They don't believe that such a family exist. Just like people will use the example of one person to credit characteristics to an entire group,  all church have been written off as the same.

Savy Shopping: CVS big time savings.

Yes, I have succumbed to the seemingly cliche phrase: Savy Shopping. Cute huh? Play on my name? :P

Ok, moving on. So today I had the pleasure to take a friend coupon shopping with me. She saved 68% on beauty products. I think I have made a believer out of her. 

My goal in this is to encourage people that, although it takes a little bit of time and a little bit of commitment, coupon shopping is totally worth it. Our budget has been tight since we moved, due to higher bills and other random happenstances,etc. But I am thankful that my diligent couponing and stockpiling has brought us through with a bit more ease than I would have suspected before I started couponing. So I thought I would share with you examples of successful coupon shopping. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

LITL: Put your money where your mouth is.

Despite this being a "Lingering in the Light" post, there really isn't a lot of light in which to linger, thanks to the lovely rain. But I'll make do with some lamplight, because this post is weighing on my heart. 

A couple of days ago I posted a LITL blog about paying the bills and drawing up our budget. I talked about how difficult it is for me to put all the trust in God's provision, when the math is sitting right in front of me, and the numbers say it won't work. 

This is a strange occurrence for me, this worrying thing. I have never really been one to worry, but rather to trust completely on God's plan and just sort of go with it. "Fake it until I make it," as a friend once told me. But then again I have never really had to resources to worry about.  I came from a very humble background, where ends hardly ever met, but we were provided for. Early on I was a child, and so I probably didn't even notice how much we struggled. Later, we had no money at all, really, so there wasn't anything to manage.