Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A little (or not so little) "Moment"

Map of Africa, from www.booksforafrica.org/images

This morning started off like any other morning. I got the kids ready for school, packed lunches, and got them off to our car pool. I sat down to read for a little while then did some dishes and cleaned the kitchen. (pretty exciting morning so far...huh?) Then...all of the sudden..."IT" happened. I was just sitting on the couch next to my sweet sleeping dog...and I saw Dustin's packed suitcases. And even though I have seen them packed and ready to go in our living room for 4 days now...somehow reality decided to check in at that moment...and I might have cried a little (or a lot...or I might still be tearing up just a little now). He is leaving to go on a missions trip to Swaziland Africa with our senior Pastor and he will be gone for two weeks. I began to think about all of the "what-ifs". Like...
What if something happens to the car?
What if one of the babes gets sick?
What if Dustin gets hurt while he is in Africa?
What if there is an unexpected bill?
What if something breaks in the house?
What if I need to talk to him and I can't?
What if? What if? What if?
Now...if you know me pretty well...you know that I don't get freaked out too easily. I am pretty much easy going and I can be very independent if I need to be. Dustin has even been gone for somewhat long periods of time before when he was recording music or playing shows on the road. I think the kicker for me was when I realized that I can't just call him whenever I want to (stupid international rates!!!) We will have skype for a few days...but there will be a few days at a time that he won't have any Internet access...and those will be the days that he will be camping out in the middle of Africa...in a tent...In Africa. That is kind of hard to get my mind around! But...even now as I sit here and type...I am reminded that God has called him to this missions trip...He has called US to this trip. I may not be going...but I am still his partner...and by default...if my man gets called..so do I. I am seriously SO excited to hear all of the amazing stories and see all of the breathtaking pictures. I KNOW that God will do amazing things in and through him and I KNOW that God will take care of all of us. I also know that God has blessed us with wonderful friends and family that are here if we need anything...and that definitely puts my mind at rest.
So...I might be having a little "moment" right now...but I know that everything will be alright. And...at least I am getting my "moment"out of the way now instead of looking like a crying fool at the airport on Thursday...because that might be embarrassing :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Laughter...I love my husband

If you read my last post...you know that I am trying to accomplish a 30-day work out program by Jillian Michaels. If you have ever done her workout...you also know that she says kind of crazy phrases like:
"Don't phone it in"
"I want you to be gargling your heart in your throat"
"I want you to feel like you are dying"
"You don't get any breaks in this workout"
She sounds like a real peach...huh? Well, my husband has heard many of these phrases either as I have done my workout or as I have repeated them sarcastically...and I think he likes to laugh at me as I "talk back" to her. Last night I totally did not want to workout. It was late, I was tired, and I was just not into it. But...I went downstairs...gave myself a pep talk...and started the DVD. I was almost 2/3 of the way through my workout when I heard the basement door open and my husband scream out, "Don't phone it in Jess...Don't phone it in!!!" I literally laughed out loud. It was all the motivation I needed to finish my workout strong. I just love him!


My sweet friend Jennelle and I decided to give ourselves a little challenge...well maybe a somewhat big challenge. We have been doing the Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" video on-and-off for a little while now and we thought that we should actually do the workout for 30 days straight. We started a week before the Daniel fast was to begin in hopes that our bodies would be somewhat used to the exercise and not hurt as bad once we started the fast. We even gave ourselves an incentive...if we complete all 30 days we get to go have pedicures together and buy a new pair of shoes!! Now...let me tell you...shoes are a HUGE incentive to me...I kind of love them! But...even with my love for shoes...this is a hard challenge that I have almost talked myself out of a few times. However...I am still going strong and I have even learned a few things from it.
1 - Having a friend "walk" with you through a challenge not only makes it easier...it keeps you going.
2 - I can be disciplined when I want to...and I need to practice more discipline in my life.
3 - Forming a "good" habit seems much harder than forming a "not-so-good" one

So...here's to disciplining my mind and my body to continue to grow into who God wants me to be...even if I am yelling at the Jillian on my TV screen in the process.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I can't get no...satisfaction

So...I hope that you read the title of this post in a sing-songy voice...I mean...it's kind of the only way to read it! This song (or at least that line) has been ringing in my ears the past two days. Let me explain...
I have really been challenged with the virtue of contentment...in everything. I had a few moments to really reflect on my life...and let me tell you...I am blessed. I love my sweet babes, my hottie-po-tottie husband, my amazing church, my wonderful friends, my sovereign Savior, my cute little home, my fun job, and so much more. However...I find myself acting content...but not realizing the virtue in being content. Earlier today I was talking about life with a friend. Both of us are happy with our lives...but much of our conversation had phrases like, "When we can afford...", "Some day we will...", "I wish we had...", or "I would love to get...". As I was on my way home I began to rethink about the conversation I had just had...and this is what God brought to my attention....
I adore my husband and he has TONS of amazing qualities. But sometimes...instead of appreciating him for those amazing qualities...I focus on some of the qualities that he is not so great at (which are very few :)!!). I think that my babes are the best babes in the world...but sometimes when they are having a silly/hyper moment I feel the need to quickly remind them that they are not to act like that. I love my cute little house...but sometimes I can only focus on the fact that I would love more storage space, some paint for our bathroom, and new carpet in the babes bedrooms. You see...instead of being thankful for what I have...I started to only see what I wanted. Instead of appreciating all of the amazing qualities that my husband has...I began to just expect them. Then...the very few not so amazing qualities seemed to become more of a focus to me. Instead of being so thankful for how well-behaved my babes normally are...I started to "get onto them" a little more than I needed to when they had "a moment". Instead of loving my house...I began to take for granted all that I truly had.
I realized that instead of having a thankful and appreciative heart...I somehow had a heart that was not disciplined to be content. I may have never acted like or said that I was not content...but my heart and my thoughts sang a different tune (much like the title of this post)
So today I learned (and will continue to learn) how to appreciate what I have. I will still always be a dreamer...it is who I am. But I will dream with a heart full of contentment for where I am now. I no longer want to take for granted the gifts I have now...they are my blessings...and I am truly a blessed woman.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Change of plans

Day 2 - Tuesday
Tuesdays are my day off from work. The kiddos are in school and Dustin is at work...I get the house to myself. As much as I miss all of my babes when they are at work/school...I have come to really enjoy "my" Tuesdays. I usually get housework done...read...organize...workout...have coffee with a friend...etc. I was looking forward to "my" Tuesday this week knowing that I would have time to pray and concentrate on the fast. I had plans to read, pray, prep "Daniel fast-friendly" meals, and write a few encouragement letters...but only 2 hours after I dropped the kiddos off from school...I was on my way back to pick them up because of a bad weather early dismissal. And...as happy as I was to go get them...I saw "my" plans for the day being changed. We got home safely and they instantly started talking about how they wanted a pajama afternoon complete with hot chocolate, making crafts, and cuddling. They got into their warm and comfy pajamas as I made them hot chocolate. Then we started on some of their homework...flashcards, spelling words, and reading. Once we were done with all of that I thought I might actually get some time to be "spiritual" so I told them that I was going to go downstairs and read. As I was walking away my sweet little Maddie said, "But momma...I just want to be with you". I turned around to see her cute face and my heart melted a little. I realized that "my" plans for "my" Tuesday had changed...but they had changed for the better. I spent the rest of the afternoon cuddling with my babes. We talked...we prayed...we sat together...and we ran around the house playing games. I prayed for my sweet babes all afternoon while we spent time together...it was perfect.
So...on day 2...I was able to pray for my sweet babes. I learned (again) that sometimes plans get changed...and sometimes that is the best thing that could ever happen.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daniel fast

I am going to attempt to blog each day during my 21 day Daniel fast. I did the fast last year with my church and even though I know it can be difficult...I am really excited to see what I can learn and what God will do through me. I decided to prepare a little better this year and I made a prayer calendar so that every day would have a specific thing (or things) for me to pray about and focus on. I can always add things or change them...but having a plan seemed like a good way to stay motivated.
So today is day 1 (And just being honest...I really want a cup of coffee :-)!!) I originally had my sweet husband and cute babes on the calendar for today...but after I thought about it I realized that I should actually put myself on the list for today. Not at all with the intentions of being selfish...instead I want to pray that God uses this fast in my life. That He changes me in areas that I need to be changed...gives me a better attitude where I need it...helps me be a better wife and mom...shows me areas that He wants me to grow in...and help me clear my head from the sometimes overwhelming distractions of life.
Today I am praying for myself and I encourage all of you sweet ladies, wives, sisters, moms, friends, daughters, and business women to pray for yourself as well. Pray that God uses you and that you will be strengthened in every area you feel that you are lacking. And let me know if there is anything that I can pray for you about...I would love to!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Back (hopefully)

So...I am hoping to get back into the "blogging" world. These last few months have been crazy, fun, stressful, wonderful, hard, and amazing. I am sure there will be some "blog-worthy" posts coming in the near future as soon as I load all of the pictures that are just sitting in my camera. So here's to a new year and hopefully to a few new blog posts!!