Monday, November 22, 2010

My Thanksgiving List in Pictures

I have decided to make a list of a few of the things I am most thankful for this year. So in no specific order here is a post of blessings from this year:

Multiple Times to Get Away From It All
Aspen Trees and Mountains

My Sweet Niece
My Adorable Nephew
A Job
Loving Parents
Adventures in Paintballing
Amazing Women in a God Filled Weekend
A Sunday Bible Study to Do Life With
A Brother to Laugh and Learn With
Adventures in Skydiving
A Best Friend Who Happens to be My Sister
My God Who Loves Me More than the Eye can See, the Ear can Hear, or the Mind can Conceive

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a Way to Start a Week

This morning we started a study on John 4 at church. Gregg was talking about how our needs are never met, our thirsts are never satisfied, until we take them to Jesus. Anything else we take our needs to are our idols. Then he made a statement that kicked me in the gut. If this were all he said, it would be message enough:

We often do not lay our idols down at the foot of the cross until they break our hearts.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who Needs Mr. Wizard?

A few months ago, a flyer showed up in my mailbox at work. It looked neat but we had just recently received an email that professional development funds are less compared to in years past. So I recycled it until my favorite co-worker suggested asking for funds. We asked, were told yes, and off we were to see Steve Spangler at his science boot camp.

oh. my. goodness.

I had no idea what I was in for. Seriously, amazing! I had no idea who he was until I walked in and saw the display table. There it was, the mentos geysers. Yes, he is THAT guy who introduced the world to dropping a mentos into diet coke. He is THAT guy who frequents Ellen and does crazy things in and around her studio. And more importantly, he is THAT guy that has given me some excitement about going to work again. Yesterday, I spent seven hours with the man and this morning, I woke up excited to go to work - for the first time in months. I cannot wait to work on these things with my kids!

So incase you have never seen the amazingness of Steve Spanger, here is a short 3 minute clip of some of his best of moments from the news station he works with in Colorado. I saw many of the experiments that are on it and then some other amazing ones. Enjoy and if you want to see more, look him up on youtube. You'll find lots of fun stuff!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Opening my Fist

God is doing a lot of stuff with me right now - reorienting my mindset on many different issues, giving me object lessons, making me rely on Him so much more... There have been common themes throughout it all. Try to guess what this one is:

Over the summer, Erin and I went up to Canton. I had never been before and the time had come to remedy that. So much fun! While we were there, we stayed with Erin's in-laws. One afternoon, CaLyn was putting some things away and she pulled out a glass cake stand. I mentioned that I thought it was pretty and the next thing I know, she is giving it to me. That was not my intention at all - in fact, my mind was thinking that Lord willing I ever get married, that would be something I would need to register for because I don't have a need for one at this time. However, it made it's way into my home. Erin shared with me that this is how CaLyn is - if you like it, it's yours. Now, I'm going to be super careful what I verbally admire of hers!

About two months ago, Erin shared with me a blog she has been following. On it, one of the posts was about how this woman was reorienting her mindsets as well. One of her new rules was that she will never buy anything she wouldn't give away to someone else. It really resonated with my spirit.

So here's the theme - Letting things go. And by things, I don't mean that ambiguous term in which we loosely through around "Just let it go already!" I mean actual things - money, stuff, time, self...

Lately, God has been laying it upon my heart that what I have isn't mine. It's on loan for a time that only He knows. My home, my finances, my time - all of it. I am not the owner but the steward. Somehow, this feels like a much bigger responsibility that owning it. There are expectations, standards, duties at stake here. The weird thing about it is that even though it feels bigger, it is freeing too. I don't have to fret about what to do about this or that. I can ask Him and He will direct me. Here are a couple of examples of object lessons that have been given to me as I've started changing this mindset.

- I've been crazy busy to the point that something new being added to my calendar may be written in through tear filled eyes. So this past Sunday, I canceled some plans to enjoy the afternoon/evening just relaxing by myself. On Saturday, the opportunity came up to have a cousin come in to stay on Sunday evening. Honestly, my mind sounded like a three year old, "I don't want to share my home! I don't want to share my time! I just want to relax! By myself! With no responsibilities!" As my inner toddler ranted and raged, a calm still voice reminded me, "That apartment is not yours. This time is not yours. It is a gift. Steward it well." Oh yeah. So I opened my home and was so blessed by it. Because it isn't mine. It is a loaner to share - for His glory.

- Last weekend, I went to Half-Price Books to help de-clutter my bookshelves. I didn't get much but more that I had the 15 minutes before. On the way home, I stopped by Walgreens. As I was going back to my car, a man that frequents a few of the corners in my area was sitting by the door. We said hello as I booked it to my car to get ready for the above guest. As I got in the car, that cash was burning in my purse. I had a place for it to go - my share of the breakfast my grade level was providing this week. But the conflict rose - this man I know by sight who was using the Walgreens as his couch or muffins for a staff of 60 employed women. The inner debate was long and loud. In the end, the women got it - not the one who needed it. In my ears, it keeps ringing, "It's not yours. This money is not yours. It is a gift. Steward it well." Whether the decision I made was right or wrong is neither here nor there. The voice and the reminders are all that matter at this point - conviction, not condemnation.

I'm not talking about being a doormat here. I'm talking about knowing what is and isn't mine. I'm talking about using what I have been given to bless. I'm talking about one of the biggest paradigm shifts I have ever had. At the end of the day, this is what I'm starting to take to heart: If I can't let it go, what truly is my "god"? If I hold on to it with a death grip, what does it say to others about the "god" that I serve? If I open my fist, who truly is my God? If I turn it loose, what does it say to others about my God that I serve?

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, I want to have five talents, not one.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Looking Back

One of the things that I love about the Old Testament is the emphasis God places on remembrances. Events, scriptures, days, God in all of His wisdom sets forth times of remembrances. People hold feasts and celebrations, write scriptures of their doors and heads, and they set up standing stones. These last ones are my favorites. Standing stones that Israel used to retell the stories of God's triumphs and glory. When we look back, we can see so much of God and what He has done.

This blog for me has been post after post of standing stones. Maybe I'm the only one who goes back and reads former posts on my own blog. Maybe it's vain but I don't think so. For four years, I see the roads God has led me down to His glory - Silly little joys that He has allowed me to share, precious moments that are near and dear to my heart, struggles that He has brought me through, and His praises - they are all there.

As I was looking at the side of my blog tonight, I noticed something very different. There have been significantly fewer posts than in years past. So much has happened that He deserves praise for. So much is happening that He will get praise for. However, until it all comes to be, it stays where it belongs - in my heart. Something sweet between me and God.

So thanks for your patience in a remarkably quieter year. Please be encouraged to look at what God has done in the past few years. Look at your standing stone moments. Remember them and praise God from whom all blessings flow!